The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise fizzled out in the wake of Johnny Depp’s legal issues, as the last entry in the series was released five years ago. But, all hope wasn't lost at that point. Disney Pictures and the series' long-time producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, were still working to restart one of the highest-grossing film series of all time. There were reports that a sixth Pirates movie was in the works alongside a female-led spin-off.
The spin-off starring Margot Robbie was initially revealed two years ago. Many fans hoped that the Suicide Actor star would breathe new life into the sunken franchise.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Robbie revealed via Vanity Fair that the movie is no longer moving forward.
"We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led — not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story — which we thought would’ve been really cool," Robbie shared. "But I guess they don’t want to do it."
Robbie's statement stands in contrast to what producer Jerry Bruckheimer stated in May. At the time, Bruckheimer mentioned that both Pirate films were in development. "Yes. We’re talking to Margot Robbie. We are developing two Pirates scripts — one with her, one without," Bruckheimer said in an interview with The Sunday Times.
The producer was also asked then if Depp would return to the franchise. "Not at this point. The future is yet to be decided," Bruckheimer answered.
Back in August, Bruckheimer reported that they were still working on the screenplay of the sixth Pirates movie. "We're still working on the screenplay, but it’s very unique and has one of the original writers who wrote the first one, Ted Elliott; he’s writing it. He’s got a great command of the language, and he writes great characters and tells terrific stories," Bruckheimer shared.
Now that the Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off has been canceled, the franchise's future hinges solely on the sixth film. The spin-off would have made the swashbuckling franchise relevant in a market that is dominated by superhero movies.
Disney also faces an uphill battle as fans have clamored for the return of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow for years. Fans have created two separate petitions to bring back the quirky Jack Sparrow.
Disney hasn't set a release date for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean 6.