The next Pirates of the Caribbean movie will definitely not include Johnny Depp, Sean Bailey, the head of Disney's live-action studio, confirmed Monday after months of rumors.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Walt Disney Studios president of production said the script Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are working on will bring "new energy" to the franchise.
"We want to bring in a new energy and vitality. I love the [Pirates] movies, but part of the reason Paul and Rhett are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants," Bailey said of the Deadpool writers. "And that's what I've tasked them with."
Bailey's comments come about two months after screenwriter Stuart Beattie, who worked on the first Pirates of the Caribbean film in 2003, told The Daily Mail Disney was planning to reboot the 15-year-old franchise without Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.
"I think he's had a great run. Obviously, he's made that character his own and it's become the character he's most famous for now," Beattie said of Depp in October. "And kids all over the world love him as that character so I think it's been great for him, it's been great for us, so I'm just very, very happy about it."
Beattie also gave Reese and Wernick his endorsement. The duo was hired to write a new Pirates movie just a few days before Beattie's comments.
"Hopefully they'll bring a lot of the great comedic subversiveness," Beattie told The Daily Mail. "I was laughing out of my seat in the opening credits of Deadpool so I am a big fan of those guys and I hope they do something really special."
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was inspired by the iconic Disneyland ride and is still a young franchise compared to others. It started in 2003 with The Curse of the Black Pearl, and continued with Dead Man's Chest (2006), At World's End (2007), On Stranger Tides (2011) and Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). All five movies have grossed $4 billion worldwide. Dead Men Tell No Tales grossed a whopping $622.3 million internationally, but just $172.5 million domestically, showing that U.S. audiences might be growing tired of Depp's character.
Bailey did not go into further details of the Pirates reboot, and there is no word on when it might reach big screens. In November, there was a rumor that the new movie might center on Redd, a female character recently added to the ride to replace the infamous auction scene.