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Disney Collected Articles Critical Of Johnny Depp Claims Heard Lawyers

Disney reportedly had been collecting documents critical of Johnny Depp and considered letting the star go from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise before the lawsuit with ex wife Amber Heard. In 2003 Depp stared in Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl as Captain Jack Sparrow in a role that was seen as a risk for both the actor and the studio who were originally displeased with the performance. Jack Sparrow became the breakout star of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Depp even earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his performance.

Jack Sparrow became the face of the franchise and the two back to back sequels 2006s Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest and 2007s Pirates of the Caribbean At Worlds End were box office sensations. In 2011 Depp reprised his role in Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides and then in 2017 returned for Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales but by that point the franchise had lost much of its former glory and the film underperformed at the box office. Meanwhile Depp was experiencing a difficult time both professionally and personally with a string of box office disappointments and very public divorce from star Amber Heard where she accused him of domestic violence. Depp counter sued Heard for libel after the actress published an op ed in the Washington Post accusing Depp of assault and labeling him a wife beater. Disney was looking to restart the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the studio made the decision it would not bring Depp back.

Depps lawsuit of Heard says that her accusations cost him work including another Pirates of the Caribbean movie but Heards attorneys say otherwise. According to Deadline Heards defense lawyer Ben Rottenborn said that Disney was already considering firing Depp from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as reportedly the studio had a dossier on the actor with articles from the press and other information on Depp. The attorney points out that Disney did not have a copy of Heards Washington Post op ed. Rottenborn said The decision by Disney does not come as a total surprise as before the release of Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales there were reports surfacing that Depp was often late to set and was drinking heavily. In 2019 it was reported that Disney could save $90 million on the next Pirates film by not bringing back Depp for the next Pirates of the Caribbean installment. At one point the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was the crown jewel of Disneys live action film slate but with the acquisition of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars franchise Pirates of the Caribbean and by extension Depp are not the sole focus the studio needs to prioritize.

While Disney has not laid out any official plans for the Pirates of the Caribbean series the last report was that Margot Robbie was set to take over as the lead of the series. Jerry Bruckheimer the franchises producer reportedly wanted to bring Depp back in a cameo role however Disney blocked the decision due to the accusations and negative press surrounding Depp. There still is an audience for Depp to return in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise among audiences and co stars and depending on how the recent trials play out it could determine what comes next for Captain Jack Sparrow.

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