Pirates of the Caribbean: Jerry Bruckheimer says next film will be a reboot

While fans have been hoping Johnny Depp would be reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, the next Pirates of the Caribbean will be a reboot.

Johnny Depp Pirates

Jerry Bruckheimer is officially dashing the hopes of many Pirates of the Caribbean fans by revealing that the next film in the franchise will be a reboot. While this was expected for some time, Bruckheimer has always played coy over whether or not Johnny Depp would return as Captain Jack Sparrow until now. When discussing his new film, The League of Ungentlemanly Warfare with ComicBook.com, he revealed the franchise is being rebooted. 

But why?

According to Bruckheimer, much of it comes down to scheduling, with him noting how hard it is to do sequels to huge hits with big stars, as you have to wait on a performer’s availability. “You don’t know how they come together. You just don’t know. Because with Top Gun you have an actor who is iconic and brilliant. And how many movies he does before he does Top Gun, I can’t tell you. But we’re gonna reboot Pirates, so that is easier to put together because you don’t have to wait for certain actors.”

So while there won’t be a Top Gun without Tom Cruise as Maverick (thank God), Disney’s seemingly not ready to wait for Johnny Depp and some of his other castmates to make another Pirates of the Caribbean. One important thing to note is that Depp may well be unwilling to return, as in the past he’s mentioned that he was done with playing Captain Jack Sparrow, and seems to be re-shifting his career towards arthouse projects. These include the recent French period drama Jeanne du Barry and the upcoming Modi, which he is directing.

All that said, rebooting Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp seems like a pretty bad idea to me. It would be one thing if this was a huge, extended universe, but all of the films have been entered around Captain Jack. Heck, I’ll go out on a limb and say that none of them, other than the first film, have actually been all that good and that Depp’s Captain Jack was the only thing that really made them worth watching. If they do decide to go ahead with the reboot, they’ll need a huge star anchoring the franchise that people can get behind. There was talk several years ago about Margot Robbie leading a female-driven Pirates movie, but in a post-Barbie world that seems unlikely. She’s such a huge star now I doubt she would sign on to a franchise like this unless she was producing it herself. But honestly, is the name recognition of the Pirates franchise so good that it can sustain a franchise without Depp? A while ago it was rumored The Bear star Ayo Edebiri could star, but that rumor was quashed. Quite honestly, successfully relaunching the Pirates franchise without Depp seems like a 100-to-1 shot. What was the last successful Pirate movie outside this franchise? Why bother?

Let us know in the franchise if you’d give a Depp-less Pirates of the Caribbean a chance.

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.