Disney Feared Johnny Depp Would Ruin Pirates of the Caribbean, but Why?

Disney Feared Johnny Depp Would Ruin Pirates of the Caribbean, but Why?
Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Despite Johnny Depp being one of Hollywood’s most successful and beloved actors, Disney executives had quite a few reservations about his style — and thought he’d ruin the Pirates movies.

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most popular and highest-grossing movie franchises of all time, and today, this is news for nobody. Millions of people all over the world adore the mystical world of Pirates, and the main reason for such love is Johnny Depp ’s character — always drunk, scheming, and eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow.

Throughout Johnny Depp’s entire career, he’s played a plethora of very different characters, but his most memorable ones were always the crazy fellows that seemingly followed the now-popular mantra “Don’t let them know your next move.” Depp didn’t see the reason to make Jack any different; however, Disney did.

Apparently, Disney executives found the actor’s vision of Captain Jack Sparrow more disturbing and out-of-place than anything else, and they wanted him to play a more tame and reasonable character. Johnny was having none of that — and, coupled with his creative process, this was really bothering the folks up at Disney.

“It was a lady called Nina Jacobson from Disney at the time, and she asked me a couple of questions and then said, ‘What is it, Johnny? Is he gay?’ My tendency, of course, is to be irreverent, so I said, ‘Nina, didn’t you know all my characters are gay?’ That was a pretty abrupt end to the conversation. And I just continued shaping Jack the way I believed was best,” Johnny Depp shared with GQ.

But those talks were not a one-time occasion. Apart from the actor’s vision for Captain Jack Sparrow, his approach to creative work was also a reason for concern.

“I would tear up the script on set. I’d go rogue. I’d fly for a little bit to see where things went. And not everyone appreciates this way of working,” the actor explained.

So ultimately, seeing how unruly and eccentric Johnny was on the set and in private conversations, Disney executives were almost convinced his ways would ruin Pirates of the Caribbean entirely. This, of course, turned out to be the other way around: it was Depp’s very own insufferable style that took the franchise to earn billions.

Source: GQ