A ridiculous rumor recently spread through the internet, riding the wave of starry-eyed fandom in the wake of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, which sparked a deluge of support for the former Pirates of the Caribbean star.
The rumor states that Depp is set to return to his most iconic role, as Captain Jack Sparrow, for no less than $301 million dollars. The rumor also hinted that a Disney Plus series might be in the works, that would explore the early years of Jack Sparrow (despite Depp currently being 59 years old).
As amusing as it would be to watch an aging Depp play the younger version of a role that he has been phoning in for at least the last two films, the rumor is just not true.
$301 million is an insane figure, equal to the entire budget of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – not a cheap film (indeed, Davy Jones still holds up as one of the most convincing CGI creations ever put to screen).
Before he was fired from the franchise, Depp was reportedly due to earn $22.5 million for his 6th appearance as Jack Sparrow; he received $50 million for the third film, At World's End , during the peak of his popularity. Even Depp thought he was being overpaid for his work in the franchise; in a 2011 interview with Vanity Fair , he said:
"Basically, if they're going to pay me the stupid money right now, I'm going to take it."
Hence, it's ludicrous to think that Disney would pay any actor that amount of money, let alone one that has proved to be such a liability on set – after all, Depp is soon due for another appearance in court, after being accused of punching a crew member.
Not to mention, the casting of Depp in any high-profile role is going to be viewed as an inherently political statement, in the wake of the deeply divisive trial between him and Amber Heard – presumably, the last thing Disney wants to do is get involved in another senseless culture war.
In fact, the $301 million seems to be a direct reference to a famous moment from the trial, in which Heard’s attorney Ben Rottenborn asked the actor, “The fact is, Mr. Depp, if Disney came to you with $300 million and a million alpacas, nothing on this earth would get you to go back and work with Disney on a Pirates of the Caribbean film? Correct?”
Depp replied, “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”
Considering the amount of misinformation that surrounded the trial as it was unfolding, it's not surprising that rumors are flying around, concerning the future of Depp's career. Depp now has a legion of simpering fans, who are determined that he receives "justice," which seemingly, means Depp returning to the role that made him an icon.
But with everything going on in the world right now, the return of Captain Jack Sparrow to the big screen isn't exactly a high priority.
In a statement to NBC News , a representative for Depp responded to the rumor, stating: "This is made up."
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