Johnny Depp will not reprise his role as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, despite reports that he was given a $301 million contract to do so. Depp’s spokeswoman denied the claim to NBC News, stating, “This is false.”

This week, rumours began to circulate when a June 7 article from an Australian news organisation went viral. In that story, a source stated, “Disney is eager to repair its relationship with Johnny Depp…. They are really optimistic that Johnny would forgive them and reprise his iconic role. During his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, Depp’s own declaration about returning to Pirates was disputed by these reports. Ben Rottenborn, Heard’s defence attorney, asked her during the trial, “Even if Disney offered you $300 million and a million alpacas, nothing on earth could convince you to participate on another Pirates of the Caribbean picture with them?” “That is correct,” Depp responded.

Despite Depp’s denial, the Jack Sparrow legend is alive and well among a handful of fervent fans. More than 800,000 people have signed a petition urging that Johnny Depp return to the Pirates universe, and the actor portrayed his character in front of a Virginia courthouse. Even the House Judiciary of the Republican Party tweeted a GIF of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean shortly after the judgement was mainly in his favour.

Depp, who portrayed Captain Jack Sparrow in all five previous Pirates films, claimed that Disney fired him from Pirates 6 in response to Heard’s abuse allegations. Depp stated in court, alluding to Heard’s initial restraining order against him in 2016, “Two years had passed of relentless worldwide publicity about me being this wife-beater.” “Therefore, I am confident that Disney attempted to sever ties for safety purposes. At that time, the #MeToo movement was in full swing.” Warner Bros. asked Depp to leave the Fantastic Beasts trilogy in 2020, yet he still received his full compensation for the third picture.

Since the conclusion of the trial, there has been feverish speculation regarding the careers of Depp and Heard. (Unverified reports continue to circulate regarding Heard’s involvement in the planned Aquaman sequel, which she stated had been “much reduced.”) This month, an anonymous former Disney executive told People, “I certainly believe that Pirates is prepared for a relaunch with Johnny as Captain Jack on board,” adding, “There is simply too much potential box office treasure for a beloved character firmly ingrained in the Disney culture.” Jerry Bruckheimer, who is creating two new scripts for the Pirates franchise (one with Margot Robbie), told The Sunday Times in May that there were no intentions to collaborate with Johnny Depp. “Not at this time,” he responded. The future has not yet been determined.

The Oscar contender will keep his voice role as Johnny Puff in the web series Puffins Impossible and has been cast as King Louis XV in the French-language film Jeanne du Barry, production of which is scheduled to commence this summer. This is Depp’s first leading part since Minamata in 2020, the release of which was delayed by over a year. Concerning larger-scale initiatives, Depp’s viability remains uncertain. “I don’t imagine he quickly returns to the Harry Potter franchise or Pirates of the Caribbean,” a development executive who has worked on multiple Depp films told Vanity Fair following the decision. Nonetheless, “the jury and the public appear to be on his side, so it’s less controversial than many of these other celebrities who have been accused of #MeToo misconduct” because he basically won the case.

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