It's been five long years since Disney released Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in theaters, but that's not to say that Disney hasn't been trying to continue the franchise in pursuit of further box office gold.
Back in 2020, DC darling Margot Robbie was reportedly set to headline Pirates of the Caribbean 6 in place of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.
However, when asked about the Disney film in November, Robbie's reply suggested that Pirates 6 had been canceled, saying, "I guess [Disney] didn't want to do it."
But now, it sounds as if the film has been let out of Davy Jones' locker if it was ever there in the first place.
Margot Robbie's Pirates Film Still on the Way
Despite Margot Robbie's claim that Disney canceled Pirates of the Caribbean 6, producer Jerry Bruckheimer told The Hollywood Reporter that the film is still "alive for Disney."
When asked why Pirates 6 has been such a struggle, Bruckheimer admitted that "they're all hard" but two films, including one with Robbie, are actually in the works:
"Oh God, they’re all hard. I think we’re getting very close on that one, too. We have a very good script. We developed two of them — the one with Margot Robbie and one with a younger cast. The Margot Robbie one needs a little more work. The younger cast one is close. Hopefully, we’ll get both of them."
In regard to why Robbie said the sixth film had been canceled, Bruckheimer was confident in the opposite being true, saying, "We believed we'll get it made:"
"It’s alive for me. It’s alive for Disney. I’m sure she was disappointed it didn’t go first — or maybe not because she’s very busy, so it might be a blessing to push this a bit. We believe we’ll get it made. It’s a very strong story."
Since two Pirates films are on the way, Bruckheimer claims that he "can't answer" the question of whether Disney could bring Johnny Depp back as Captain Jack Sparrow:
"You’d have to ask them. I can’t answer that question. I really don’t know. I would love to have him in the movie. He’s a friend, a terrific actor and it’s unfortunate that personal lives creep into everything we do."
As to whether Captain Jack's own tale could come to an end in a future film, the producer was equally coy, saying, "You can’t. We tried to kill him. It didn’t work."
How Many Captains are Sailing the Ship?
For fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise - and Margot Robbie - Bruckheimer's update is fantastic news, but there's quite a bit to unpack here.
For starters, he's developing Pirates 6 and 7 - "one with Margot Robbie and one with a younger cast."
Does that mean Robbie's not the new face of the franchise and will only lead one film? After all, a film with a young cast suggests a reboot. If Robbie was the star of the reboot, a new young cast wouldn't be the focus.
Bruckheimer also suggested that Robbie's film may not be Pirates 6 but actually Pirates 7, saying, "I'm sure she was disappointed it didn't go first" and "it might be a blessing to push this a bit."
If Robbie truly believed her film had been canceled, perhaps it was due to Disney not knowing which film should come first.
However, the results of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's trial and his potential to return surely shook things up a bit as well. After all, it's no secret that the actor loved the character and wanted to continue making Pirates films.
And, even though Bruckheimer says he "can't answer that question," he did admit that you can't kill Jack Sparrow.
Perhaps that particular comment had more than one meaning?
While only time will tell, the fact that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is still alive is significant news. The question moving forward is just how many captains will be sailing on this ship?