In May, producer Jerry Bruckheimer said he was working on a fifth “Pirates” script — and that he wouldn’t make the movie without Depp.
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“Hopefully, if this one does well, (Depp) will want to come back and play the character again,” Bruckheimer told the L.A. Times. “But it’s going to depend on the screenplay. It always does. He’s maniacal about not wanting to disappoint his audience.”
Also read: Johnny Depp's Swipe of 'Pirate' Profits: $350 Million (Exclusive)
"This one" is the fourth installment in the franchise, "On Stranger Tides." And it did do well: This past weekend, it surpassed $1 billion at the global box office.
Apparently, Depp likes what he sees. He’s negotiating for the movie.
Update: Another individual close to the franchise said that a rough draft for the script was in, and that producer Bruckheimer and others were meeting intensively – three and four times a week – on improving it. A deal will depend on whether Depp likes the script, but this individual said the broad strokes were in place for a deal with the lead actor.
Depp's agent Tracey Jacobs declined to comment. A Disney spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Depp stars as the kohl-eyed, swashbuckling pirate, Capt. Jack Sparrow, in Disney’s wildly successful franchise. The first four installments have grossed a total of $3.7 billion.
Depp is key to the franchise’s success: Without Capt. Jack there’s no “Pirates.”
He is working on another Bruckheimer project, "The Lone Ranger," in which he plays Tonto. That will shoot in October.
Meanwhile, Depp has been driving huge box office success for Disney for close to a decade.
In addition to Sparrow, he played the Mad Hatter in the studio’s 2010 “Alice in Wonderland,” which grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.