Since Amber Heard's first accusation of physical abuse following their 2016 breakup, Johnny Depp's career has been marred in controversy, with many of the most prestigious institutions in Hollywood largely blacklisting him due to ongoing legal battles with both her and U.K.-based news outlet The Sun.
One of the most defining moments to come out of the fallout of the legal issues was when Disney decided to sever ties with the star in 2020, effectively stating that he would no longer be taking part in the award-winning series Pirates of the Caribbean.
With Pirates 6 set to star Margot Robbie and make not even a mention of Johnny's infamous Jack Sparrow character, the question remains, will Disney ever bring back the series' leading man despite the controversy he has faced? Here's a breakdown of where things currently stand between the actor and the studio.
Was Johnny Depp rehired for 'Pirates'? Rumors suggest there's a way he could come back.
Although no concrete information has been provided with regard to Disney officially rehiring Johnny for his role in the franchise, there has been some chatter online and hints of ways that he could somehow return to Pirates.
The one facet that has caught the most steam amongst fans online is via a change.org petition asking the studio to rehire Johnny as Captain Jack Sparrow. The petition has a goal of 500,000 signatures and is well on its way to achieving it thanks to countless shares across social media platforms.
The petition's description pleads with readers to "imagine no Jack Sparrow at all" and mentions that "they [Disney] have to bring him back to rule the seas again, UNLESS it is actor's own choice to withdraw from the role."
Disney might rehire Johnny Depp if he wins in a retrial.
Considering how adamant Disney is to protect its family-friendly branding, it's only natural to assume they'd want to keep their distance from any of the messy proceedings of Johnny's case with Amber. However, an industry insider claims that if the situation happens to go to a retrial, the studio might consider reopening talks with the actor.
"Hearing Disney talked to Depp that if the court will agree to do a retrial with the Sun and he wins they’ll re-discuss things," Daniel Richtman claimed, via Patreon.
A famous YouTuber claimed Disney rehired Johnny, but there's no proof.
On Jan. 21, 2021, a YouTuber by the name of Viral Vision shared a video claiming that Disney had quietly rehired Johnny and effectively scrapped the idea of a Margot-led Pirates 6. However, despite the clip being shared, viewed, and commented on hundreds of thousands of times, the claims made within it are largely unsubstantiated.
As of right now, it appears that the only avenue for Johnny to potentially reopen negotiations with Disney is to somehow fully clear his name legally, and bolster that with the knowledge that a bevy of fans are also vouching online for his reappointment to the role.