Fans knew it was too good to be true. Just one day after reports claimed Johnny Depp was in talks to reprise his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” his rep denied those rumors outright.
“This is made up,” Depp’s spokesperson told NBC News in a statement.
The rumor started following a report from the Australian site PopTopic which claimed the actor was in talks with Disney to return to the lucrative franchise. PopTopic noted that the deal could be worth $301 million, which in itself was a clue that it may not be real. The publication credited an anonymous source with breaking the story.
“Disney is very interested in patching up their relationship with Johnny Depp,” the source allegedly told the outlet. “They are very hopeful that Johnny will forgive them and return as his iconic character.”
It’s likely that the rumored offer, $301 million, came from a comment Depp made during testimony for his highly publicized defamation case against ex Amber Heard. While expressing his anger with Disney for firing him from ‘Pirates’ without proof of wrongdoing, the actor “testified under oath that he would not take another ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise role for $300 million and a million alpacas,” The Daily Wire previously reported.
Depp and his lawyer were seen laughing together when Heard’s lawyer referenced the comments during the trial.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear that the animosity goes both ways. “Pirates” producer Jerry Bruckheimer did not rule out Depp’s return, seemingly leaving the door open to strike a deal.
“Not at this point,” the Hollywood exec said when asked about Depp reprising his role last month. “The future is yet to be decided.”
It would probably take more than $300 million and a bunch of alpacas to soothe Depp’s hurt ego, though. He previously expressed anger over being dropped by the studio after Heard’s abuse claims went public.
“Captain Jack Sparrow was a character I built from the ground up and was something that I, of course, put a lot of [myself] into the character and also having worked on these films with these people and added much of myself, much of my own re-writing of the dialogue and scenes and jokes,” he said, per Movieweb.
“I didn’t quite understand how, after that long relationship and quite a successful relationship certainly for Disney, that suddenly I was guilty until proven innocent,” he said.
(Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids’ entertainment content.)