Pirates of the Caribbean’s Mr. Gibbs, portrayed by actor Kevin McNally, has spoken out about his support for Johnny Depp to return to any new additions to the franchise. Depp originated the role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the first Pirates of the Caribbean film in 2003. With the franchise, Depp continued to do four more movies as Jack. The role earned him a nomination for an Academy Award and reinvigorated the Pirates of the Caribbean rides at Disney parks while making Jack Sparrow a beloved Disney character. Playing Captain Jack also made Depp a Disney staple for other films including Alice in Wonderland, Into the Woods, and The Lone Ranger.
However, within the past few years, Depp’s career has hit a rough patch because of allegations of domestic abuse from his now ex-wife Amber Heard. The allegations led to a larger slander controversy and lawsuit, which resulted in Disney blocking Depp’s return to any Pirates of the Caribbean project, even a cameo, for fear it would risk the reputation of the family-friendly company. Since the last film in the series, in 2017, Disney has announced there are two upcoming Pirates reboot films: one starring Margot Robbie (Birds of Prey), which offers Disney a fresh start for the franchise, and one involving many creators from the original films, which allows for cameos from the original cast. Still, because Depp is being blocked by Disney, fans can’t be certain he’ll be involved at all despite his key role in the franchise.
Disney’s reluctance to work with Depp has not stopped his co-stars from supporting his return to the films. According to Express, McNally wants Depp to return for future films after working with him for the past five movies. As a result, he says he discounts all the claims that Depp has a ‘dark side.’ Read McNally’s full comment below.
“I’ve never seen a hint of any dark side to Johnny. I see a great humanitarian and a beautiful human being. I don’t see any impediment for him coming back and playing Jack Sparrow. I think there was a general feeling that without Jack there is no Pirates franchise. And there’s probably a lot of truth in that.”
This isn’t the first time McNally has come to Depp’s defense, nor is it an uncommon opinion. Last year, fans rallied together to sign a petition to have Depp return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, demonstrating how much Jack Sparrow means to the audience. Since winning the defamation lawsuit and dealing with Heard’s allegations against him, Depp has been trying to rebuild his career, which can be difficult if one of the major media corporations has him blacklisted.
With the two reboots coming up, many believe that Jack’s time in the spotlight has ended. The franchise is in need of a new start, and it’s time to focus on new characters, which both reboots allow. If Disney asks Depp to return to the franchise, Depp would likely return for smaller supporting roles or cameos that could connect the new films with the original five. It is hard to imagine a Pirates of the Caribbean film without Jack Sparrow because he is central to the experience of the films. Yet, the simple desire for Depp to return isn’t enough to bring him back.
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