In the midst of Johnny Depp’s highly-publicised defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, which he won on 1 June 2022, the actor made a point of shutting down rumours surrounding his potential return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Sadly for the majority of the internet, the sixth instalment of the iconic movie would not include the beloved character of Captain Jack Sparrow—at least not one played by Depp.
What no one was expecting, however, was for the role of Sparrow to be taken on by another actor instead of completely removed from the plot of the upcoming movie. Though producer Jerry Bruckheimer previously confirmed that a script is being developed with Margot Robbie taking over the lead role, he also explained that there were no plans for Depp’s character to return.
And yet, new rumours have been circulating online about actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson taking on the task of replacing Depp as the emblematic captain. And it’s safe to say, fans aren’t happy about it…
Reports concerning the potential move first came from Giant Freakin Robot which wrote, “It has already been announced by Jerry Bruckheimer that two spinoffs are in the works. One will see Margot Robbie take the lead of the franchise. The other is currently a mystery for now. However, based on our trusted and proven source, we can report that a third spinoff is in the works. This third Pirates spinoff will star Dwayne Johnson.”
Though it doesn’t seem like The Rock would play Captain Jack Sparrow, as it spread online, the news somehow promoted the contrary—with Twitter users being quick to discuss the unfounded allegations. “Please – just NO! I don’t really have anything against the Rock, but he’s not a great actor who can be funny, devious, sweet, cheeky, cute, and just plain smart all in one movie 🙂 Or at all!” wrote one.
“I really hope the news about Dwayne Johnson replacing Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow are untrue, or at least hope he rejects it. Would make me think a lot less of him if he took it. Also, stupid move since most of us will not watch it!” added another.
And it’s not just a role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that Disney may be eyeing Johnson for. There are also rumours that he could be replacing Will Smith in yet another iconic role too. The Rock is to reportedly replace the Fresh Prince in Aladdin 2 following Smith’s Oscar slapgate fiasco with friend and comedian Chris Rock.
According to an anonymous source in a report by OK! Magazine, Amber Heard is allegedly in talks to release a “tell-all” book following the disastrous fallout of her defamation trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp. The lawsuit was brought against Heard by Depp for the actress’ 2018 Washington Post op-ed that indirectly accused the Pirates of the Caribbean star of domestic violence—though he was not named in the article.
Coming out as very much the loser in the case against her, the Aquaman actress has suffered far worse perils in the court of public opinion. From Chris Rock mocking her to the saturated bullying on social media, it’s reported that Heard is out for—what OK! described as—“revenge” with the potential release of this book. The anonymous source in question, listed as an “insider,” told the publication that the disgraced star feels like she’s run out of road.
“Amber considers her career in Hollywood over. She’s already in talks and is excited about it,” the source explained. “At this point, she has nothing to lose and wants to tell-all.” Despite these alleged reports, Heard has publicly stated her concern in speaking up about Depp in the future, “scared” that he would sue her again.
As part of an NBC Dateline interview with the network’s Savannah Guthrie, Heard stated, “I’m scared that no matter what I do, no matter what I say, or how I say it—every step that I take will present another opportunity for this sort of—silencing, which is what, I guess, a defamation lawsuit is meant to do.” Dror Bikel, attorney and author of The 1% Divorce, When Titans Clash, told OK! that this would likely happen again if she is not “extremely careful” with what is included and said as part of the tell-all.
“Depp and his attorneys will be reading and listening to everything that Heard states,” Bikel explained. “If she crosses the line, which is likely, there is no question that will be hit with another defamation suit and end up right back in court.”
As the six-week long trial—which largely thrived on TikTok—drew to a close, Depp was awarded $8.3 million in damages from Heard. However, reports have also been swirling that the actress may not have enough to pay off this total. Some have even speculated that the motivation behind the book is to generate enough of a sum to pay Depp. This, of course, cannot be confirmed. In fact, it has further been reported that Depp may actually drop the $8 million damages claim against Heard if she withdraws her appeal of the case.