It’s early days yet, but it already seems that the sudden departure of Disney chairman, Dick Cook, could have a major effect on the company’s upcoming roster – namely, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
All seemed to be plain sailing for the fourth movie in the Pirates franchise – last week, at the Disney D23 Expo, Cook and Johnny Depp – in full Jack Sparrow regalia, as he’s wont to do at Disney presentations – announced the new subtitle, and a sneak peek at the plot, in which Cap’n Jack will set off in search of the Fountain Of Youth.
But Depp himself cast doubt on the status of the new sequel over the weekend when he called the LA Times, in reaction to Cook’s departure, and said, "There's a fissure, a crack in my enthusiasm at the moment… It was all born in that office."
‘That office’ being Cook’s, where the long-time Disney chairman had persuaded Depp to walk the Pirates plank in the first place, after a fruitless period of trying to get the star interested in Disney fare. "He said, 'We're thinking about doing this 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie,'" Depp told the LA Times. "I said I was in. This was before there was a script or anything."
Depp went on to recall that Cook had protected him and shepherded him when other Disney suits were going nuts about the leftfield nature of his Sparrow turn. And with a deal for Pirates 4 only provisionally in place, and based on the quality of the script, it seems that Depp’s commitment to what had seemed like a set-in-stone tentpole may be wavering out of loyalty to his friend. And you’d imagine that with no Depp, and no Cap’n Jack, there’ll be no audience appetite for a new Pirates movie.
But as we said above, it’s early days yet, and Depp may yet come around; especially as it’s almost certain that the new Disney boss – whoever that may be – will move heaven and earth to get the star on board. As ever, watch this space.