Is ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Better Off Without Johnny Depp: Fans Weigh In?

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is set to sail once more sans Captain Jack Sparrow. Though 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is still fresh in fans’ minds, Disney plans to reboot its money-making story (possibly as a parody?) with a brand new cast of characters. Meaning, the signature, sword-slaying, sly, and sometimes snake of a man Sparrow will be amiss. No Johnny Depp to lead this story through murky waters. 

Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Will Pirates of the Caribbean thrive without Johnny Depp, or will the fans miss the actor who brought the story to life? Johnny Depp existed at the center of this narrative for over a decade; intimately tied to the character, Depp became the face of the franchise and has been widely considered its sole ticket to impressive ticket sales. However, can Disney make millions without him? 

According to CinemaBlend, writers Ted Elliot and Craig Mazin will be responsible for sculpting a new narrative; however, it may be wise to avoid recasting Sparrow, as fans will incessantly compare the character back to Depp. However, will placing the title before fans — regardless of the characters set to come forth — conjure those comparisons anyway, and will fans be able to accept and enjoy the film without Depp? 

Fans discuss a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ without Johnny Depp: The movie will suffer, but it will be profitable

In discussions concerning the new Pirates of the Caribbean reboot and the absence of Johnny Depp, fans discussed the amount of money Disney will save by leaving out the actor famous for portraying Sparrow. Depp costs a pretty penny and Disney — with a new set of characters and the appeal of the title alone — may be able to draw large audiences without him. Fan chimed in with the following comments:

Disney must be either really confident they can pull it off without him, or they realized they’re making enough money off their other movie franchises to take this gamble.

Reddit User

I think that they are just going to low budget it, make money off of the IP, watch it tank, and cash in the giant check. Regardless of if Depp is in it, it will still sell a large amount of tickets off the name alone. Not as many of course, but a large amount compared to other films off of name recognition alone. Even if it tanks, without him in the cast they very well might make more money off the next film even if it bombs and then kill the franchise.

Reddit User

Fans note that without Depp, the movie will likely sell enough tickets to be profitable, regardless of how well the film is received. Even if critics and audiences condemn it, people will flock, simply to say “they should have quit while they were ahead;” however, in the end, Disney still wins.

The overall consensus seems to be the following: the narrative will fail without Depp, and the franchise’s appeal will take a major blow; however, the amount of money Disney will save by excluding the actor will compensate for the gamble. Fans agree, as noted on this forum that “pirates isn’t pirates without Captain Jack Sparrow,” but that won’t keep Disney from cashing in an easy check.