Earlier this week it was announced that the new Pirates Of The Caribbean entry starring Margot Robbie was canceled. No official explanation was given by the House Of Mouse and Robbie is simply just quoted as saying: “I guess they don’t want to do it.”
This is a surprising move by Disney as Pirates Of The Caribbean is a huge franchise that generates a lot of money for the studio. Unfortunately, that may be the very reason that the project was shelved.
Disney’s Heavy Hitters Are Losing Steam
Disney hasn’t exactly lost money at the box office. They haven’t set the world on fire either. Expectations have not been consistently met. Marvel’s Phase Four has been disjointed. The Star Wars Universe has gone from being a beloved cultural phenomenon, to a hit and miss shadow of itself.
Pixar puts out consistently great films. For some inexplicable reason, Disney never releases them into theaters (with the exception of the ill received Lightyear) and they get relegated to Disney Plus. Disney’s Animation Department is widely ignored. They simply aren’t marketing anything in regards to their animated projects. Their next animated film is Strange World. It comes out on November 23rd. I only knew that because I had to look up what Disney’s next animated feature was to make this point.
All five Pirates Of The Caribbean movies have topped $650,000,000.00 with two of them (Dead Man’s Chest, and On Stranger Tides) topping the billion dollar benchmark that Disney has grown so accustomed to. The new project is said to come out completely different from the rest. This might confuse and alienate fans of the series. If the permanent record of yet another flagship Disney franchise gets tarnished, Disney’s reputation as a first class entertainment company would take a massive hit.
Disney Faltered With Johnny Depp
After Amber Heard’s veiled allegations against Johnny Depp were published in a Washington Post op-ed, action was taken. That action was swift, fierce, and irreparable in damage. First, Warner Brothers removed him from the Fantastic Beasts series and replaced him with Mads Mikelson. That proved to be a fatal move, as the Fantastic Beasts franchise has since been cancelled. To be fair, Ezra Miller could have been a factor in that as well.
Disney also unceremoniously dumped Depp amidst the allegations. Severing ties with him and moving on. This is where the all female Pirates movie became an idea and Margot Robbie was brought on board.
Fortunately for Depp, and some would say unfortunately for Disney; Depp won his defamation trial against Heard in court. Speculation immediately arose that Depp would return to the beloved franchise that he built with Jerry Bruckheimer. Initially Depp has been emphatic in his refusal to return to the series. Yet as recently as two weeks ago, the tides seem to be turning as Depp has claimed to be “Keeping all of his options open” leading to wild speculation about his return to the series.
Jerry Bruckheimer has always claimed to have one script written without Margot Robbie and one script that included her. That fact, combined with Depp all of a sudden softening his stance on returning to the franchise makes the timing of the cancellation of the Robbie project very suspect.
Replacing Johnny Depp in a series that he is the face of would have been a risky move for Margot Robbie. I don’t think the cancellation is damaging to her reputation, or career. She is an actress with an excellent resume. She is also not hurting for work as she will soon star alongside Brad Pitt in Babylon and will also star in the highly anticipated Barbie movie. Let us also not forget that she has an iconic role over at Warner Bros. as Harley Quinn. So whether the Black Pearl ever sets sail again with or without Depp, one can be sure that Margot Robbie will be perfectly fine right here on the shore.
What do you think Geek Faithful? Is this a fair decision? Is Disney just protecting its brand? Will Depp resume his command of The Black Pearl? Sound off in the comments!
Thank you for reading. When I am not writing I enjoy spending time with my wife Barbara, my two year old daughter Frankie, and my loyal hound Marbles.
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