ByAngelo Delos Trinos, writer at
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Angelo Delos Trinos

With the fifth movie nearing its release date, some wonder what's in store for the seafaring franchise's future. Some have theorized that there may be more sequels, while others hope that Dead Men Tell No Tales really is the finale for Pirates of the Caribbean. There are even those who think that a spin-off starring a younger Captain Jack Sparrow is an inevitability, given how many reboots and remakes crop up, including an upcoming Han Solo adventure starring Alden Ehrenreich and many live-action adaptations from over the last few years. However, if producer Jerry Bruckheimer has his way, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise will only continue if Johnny Depp sticks around to play Captain Jack Sparrow.

No Johnny, No Jack:

As reported by DigitalSpy, Bruckheimer won't allow any new Pirates movies to happen if decides not to reprise his key role. For him, Pirates of the Caribbean and Captain Jack Sparrow are inseparable from one another, so the franchise wouldn't be the same without Depp.

I just don't see it... The secret to any successful franchise is picking talented people, and Johnny is absolutely key to the success of [Pirates of the Caribbean]. He's such a unique character, such an endearing character, and such an irreverent character all in one.

-Jerry Bruckheimer

For Bruckheimer, Depp's consistency and continuity are part of Captain Jack's continued popularity and relevance to the Pirates movies.

He hasn't changed at all!.. That's what's so great about [Captain Jack Sparrow]. He's still the same guy he was in the first one. He's still out to get what's good for him... Johnny himself hasn't changed either. We've worked together on six movies now and he's just an amazing individual.

- Jerry Bruckheimer

'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End' [Credit: Walt Disney Pictures]
'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End' [Credit: Walt Disney Pictures]

The producer clarified that audiences shouldn't be expecting the studio to recast the role anytime soon. Even if Dead Men Tell No Tales features a younger version of Captain Jack in a flashback, he was still played by Depp thanks to CGI. For Bruckheimer, "It's always about the character, it's never about the visual effects."

So, it looks as though there will be no spin-offs about a young Captain Sparrow's exploits in the foreseeable future. Bruckheimer also stated that Pirates will be a big screen exclusive and will never expand into television.

You have a kitchen in your house, right? But you still go out to eat... If something drags you out of the house it's usually good food. We have to make really, really good movies to make people stay away from their televisions. And that's exactly what we do.

-Jerry Bruckheimer

Bruckheimer raises an interesting point, and his experience producing every Pirates movie to date certainly makes him an authority on what's best for the franchise. However, without plans to expand into television or to ever recast Captain Jack Sparrow, the franchise's future is entirely in Depp's hands.

A Pirate Named Johnny Depp

Though some may feel that Captain Jack Sparrow has overstayed his welcome, others remain devoted to "the worst pirate you've ever heard of". It's hard to deny the fact that only Depp perfectly portrays the bumbling pirate, and gave the performance of a lifetime in The Curse of the Black Pearl. This not only gave the film's supporting character the spotlight, but also catapulted the Pirates franchise to success and heightened Depp's fame to an even greater extent.

Captain Jack's ensuing overexposure was a major flaw of the Pirates sequels, but Depp's continued involvement guaranteed fans that the character was still fun to watch. For better or worse, Captain Jack Sparrow became the face of Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and replacing Johnny Depp with someone else could do more harm than good.

If Dead Men Tell No Tales really is the final chapter of the Pirates franchise as we know it, it's reassuring to know that Jerry Bruckheimer is in no rush to recast the series' most recognizable character for the sake of short-term profit. Depp and Captain Jack Sparrow are one and the same, and it would be better for their joint legacy to sail off into the horizon, enjoying a bottle of rum while singing the words of "Yo Ho A Pirate's Life For Me".


Do you think Pirates of the Caribbean could continue without Captain Jack Sparrow?


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