Over 550,000 Fans Want Disney to Bring Johnny Depp Back Into the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Franchise
Kimberly Giles launched the petition two years ago on Change.org. However, it appears to be gaining momentum once again in the midst of the actor's ongoing legal battle with Amber Heard.
A main thrust of Depp's current lawsuit against his former wife stems from him being reportedly let go from the hit film franchise in which he famously starred amidst accusations of abuse. Depp testified that he was fired by Disney after his ex published a 2018 op-ed that discussed her experiences with an anonymous abusive partner, according to Variety.
Depp originated the role of Captain Jack Sparrow on the big screen in 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He then proceeded to play the smarmy but lovable pirate in four more films over the years. His most recent appearance was in 2017's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
In 2018, during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, a Disney exec implied that a sixth movie was in the works without Depp's involvement However, since then fans haven't heard much about the latest entry to the series. Collider notes it has not yet begun filming, and there doesn't appear to be a timeline in place.
In the petition, Giles urged Disney to reconsider sidelining Depp.
"Johnny Depp has always been one of the greatest actors ever since he started acting around the age of 21," they wrote. "This man NEVER disappoints when he makes a movie, so why continue to keep him from doing Pirates of the Caribbean?"
The petition also referred to Depp as a victim and called Heard's accusations into question.
At the time of publishing, the petition has amassed more than 572,000 signatures with many fans explaining why they are voicing support for the star.
"He's clearly innocent ... you don't have to be a fan of his to see that," one petitioner wrote. "I believe he was wronged," another noted.
"Johnny is an amazing humanitarian and actor. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies were epic," someone gushed. "Disney should have not been so quick to react and waited for the TRUTH!"
Interestingly, Variety reports that Depp testified he has no interest in returning to the role even if it was offered to him.
Meanwhile, another Change.org petition calling for Heard to be removed from Aquaman 2 is rapidly closing in on 4 million signatures.