Johnny Depp starred as the unrivalled hero in all five franchise films. However, reports that Disney has two Pirates of the Caribbean reboot films in the works suggest that the franchise continued without Depp’s involvement, and fans wonder what happened to our beloved Jack Sparrow.
2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl eventually became the fourth highest-grossing film of the year. That film launched the five-film franchise, which is currently the 14th highest-grossing movie franchise of all time, ahead of the Mission: Impossible and Despicable Me. So, it’s no wonder they are so keen to reboot the franchise, not once but twice.
The undisputed starring of the Johnny Depp in Pirates franchise led filmmakers to begun fully framing the stories surrounding Jack Sparrow‘s interpretation of the actor, which was never in the script. The flip side of this decision was though the launch of a series of successful films, but limited the scope of the story and did not expand beyond Sparrow‘s narrative.
By the fifth film, Dead Men Tell No Tales which is the second lowest-grossing film in the franchise, critics got tired of the over-the-top stories and the satirical nature of Depp‘s performance. Big enough to fail even in the era of blockbuster film-making, the Pirates franchise seems to be less useful as an investment for Disney, especially when they have MCU and live-action remakes in the corner.
If Disney wants to keep up with Depp‘s use of the new Pirates movies, it will make sense to include Sparrow in smaller roles supporting new stars. Sparrow works best as a sloppy agent who stealthily takes the two-step ahead of everyone else, and the subsequent films drown when they try to make him a powerful hero.
The new Pirates movies give Disney a chance to breathe new life into a franchise that has a killer central hook. The more films expand this world, the better the benefits will be creatively and financially. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride has made plenty of changes throughout the decades, so it makes a lot of sense for the movies to do so as well.