Well, it happened: Disney’s insatiable hunger for live-action remakes of its classic properties has now reached the point where it’s eating its own rattily dreadlocked tail, as Deadline reports that the studio is looking into a live-action reboot of a property that was already filmed by actual flesh and blood people, and also Keith Richards: Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Specifically, Disney is reportedly talking to Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick about the possibility of massively revamping its billion-plus dollar Pirates franchise, which originally debuted in the distant, far-flung past of 2003. The original film has since spawned four sequels, enormous amounts of money, and more inadvisable Halloween performances from the “funny” guy in the office than you can shake a used Heath Ledger Joker costume at.
Of course, the real question here is not whether Reese and Wernick can make the Pirates characters even more quippy, irritating, and fourth wall-averse than they already were, but whether this whole thing is being designed as a backdoor way to quietly give the franchise a much-needed Johnny Depp-ectomy. Depp has been the sole stable figure for the series over the last 15 years, which is a pretty bizarre sentence to write, given how Johnny Depp has never been the most stable thing in anything else, ever. Even beyond his various and obvious present-day problems—and the troubles they constantly threaten to summon up for any franchise he’s attached to—five films is lot for anybody to star in, which might explain why Disney is hungry for a reboot. Not that Captain Jack Sparrow has necessarily hung up his rum for good; Deadline notes that it’s still early days for these particular plans, and it’s always possible Reese and Wernick’s script will have a place for the franchise’s swaggering cartoon mascot to return.