Is Johnny Depp Back for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5?’

The franchise's breakout character in negotiations to return for yet another Jerry Bruckheimer joint.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 should be an inevitability: On Stranger Tides just broke $1 billion internationally, and… um… that's reason enough. Certainly it's not because the story remains untold. So it's nice to hear that Johnny Depp was waiting to sign on for a fifth film until he could vouch for the screenplay. According to The Wrap, Depp has entered into negotiations for a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film. That must be a good screenplay. That, or Depp finally realized that having more money than God is fun.

Johnny Depp is in a uniquely strong bargaining position in Hollywood. The success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise can be traced almost entirely back to the popularity of Captain Jack Sparrow. I mean, it's not like audiences are just going nuts for pirate movies. And since On Stranger Tides proved that audiences are willing to overlook the absence of former series regulars Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and director Gore Verbinski, it means that Depp can pretty much ask for whatever he wants. In fact, he already did it. His salary for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was well over $50 million, effectively making him the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Ordinarily such an asking price would cause studio executives to consider other options, like recasting the lead character, but with such an iconic performance it's unlikely that anybody could ever fill Depp's shoes as Jack Sparrow without feeling parodic. If Depp wants the part, he's going to get a ton of money. If he doesn't want the part, Disney's out of luck.

Depp or no, the real question remains whether we even want another Pirates of the Caribbean movie. On Stranger Tides didn't exactly prove that there's a lot more to be tapped in that particular goldmine.

CRAVE Online will be back with more Pirates of the Caribbean 5 news after we drink up, me hearties!