Margot Robbie Could Have Replaced Jack Sparrow & Fixed A POTC Problem
While the original Pirates of the Caribbean movies (particularly the later sequels) were centered around Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow to a fault, Margot Robbie’s canceled Pirates of the Caribbean 6 could have fixed this. While series star Johnny Depp’s legal troubles have been blamed for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise’s 5-year absence from cinema screens, the truth is that the blockbuster series was in trouble before these proceedings began. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies garnered gradually worsening reviews from the first sequel onwards, and the fifth outing saw a dip in the financial performance of the series.
Although 2017’s fifth movie Dead Men Tell No Tales could have ended the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise perfectly, the outing instead ended up disappointing viewers and critics alike with another stale story centered around Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. While reviewers had begun complaining that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was over-reliant on Depp’s performance back when Dead Man’s Chest was released in 2006, the comparative financial underperformance of Dead Men Tell No Tales suggested that audiences were now in agreement. Margot Robbie’s proposed Pirates of the Caribbean 6 could have fixed this issue, but the project was canceled before it had a chance.
Originally announced in December 2020, Margot Robbie’s Pirates of the Caribbean spinoff was intended to be a female-led reboot set in the franchise’s universe. This Pirates of the Caribbean 6 treatment featured Robbie as the star and Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson on scripting duties. While Depp’s Jack Sparrow return chances improved when Robbie shared the news that the reboot was canceled, this was not necessarily good for the series as a whole. After Depp played a scene-stealing but, crucially, supporting role in 2003’s The Curse of the Black Pearl, the ensuing sequels increasingly relied on the actor’s charisma to keep the series afloat.
The two most recent Pirates of the Caribbean sequels got rid of Depp’s original trilogy co-stars Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley to give the actor more screen time. This inevitably led Depp’s take on Sparrow to become tiresome, as the flamboyant character was only charming in small doses. Despite critics highlighting this issue, the Pirates of the Caribbean series continued to rely more on Depp, resulting in the underperformance of Dead Men Tell No Tales. This could have been remedied by a spinoff that saw Robbie replace Depp’s Jack Sparrow as the lead, moving the focus from Jack toward the rest of the fictional universe. However, that now looks unlikely.
Margot Robbie’s canceled Pirates Of The Caribbean movie is not going forward for several reasons. The fact that one of the screenwriters of the original movie is returning for a separate Pirates Of The Caribbean 6 proves that Disney is prioritizing this project over Robbie’s spinoff, while Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s claim that “that script will come forward at a certain point” shows that all hope is not lost for the project. However, Margot Robbie’s Pirates Of The Caribbean spinoff replacing Depp’s Sparrow now seems unlikely since Pirates Of The Caribbean 6 will already have either brought back or killed off the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise hero before the female-led reboot arrives.
MORE: POTC Prequels Can Fix The Franchise’s Jack Sparrow Problem