Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Disney | Disney

Here's What We Know About Johnny Depp's Return To The 'Pirates' Franchise

After what felt like an eternity's worth of testimony, the defamation suit between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard, has come to a close — with Johnny being awarded $10.35 million in damages.

Now that the dust has begun to settle, fans are once again beginning to ponder whether or not Depp will look to make a return to Pirates of the Caribbean as Capt. Jack Sparrow.

While the news at this point is largely speculative, here's everything we know (so far) about Johnny's potential return to the Pirates franchise.

Of all the roles that Johnny Depp has taken on over the years, arguably none is more iconic than Captain Jack Sparrow.

Captain Jack Sparrow screaming in 'Pirates Of The Caribbean'.
Disney | Disney

Captain Jack Sparrow was first introduced to the world in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

The film was a runaway smash hit, and brought about Johnny's first Academy Award nomination for "Best Actor."

Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Disney | Disney

Over the course of the next two decades, Johnny starred in four subsequent sequels and helped to solidify The Pirates of the Caribbean as one of the most profitable franchises in movie history.

But then in 2018, Johnny's world came crashing down.

johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow touching his hat as a sign of respect.
Giphy |

After an op-ed written by Heard, wherein she identified herself as a victim of domestic abuse, was published in The Washington Post, Disney decided to cut ties with Johnny altogether.

Unwilling to sit idly by while his career and reputation were being tarnished, Johnny decided to sue Amber Heard to the tune of $50 million.

Johnny Depp playing the guitar in his recording studio.
instagram | @johnnydepp

The trial ran from April 1st to June 1st. After weeks' worth of lengthy testimonies, the courts ruled in favor of Johnny and awarded him $10.35 million.

Since the announcement of the court's ruling, many are wondering whether or not Johnny will return in 'Pirates Of The Caribbean 6'.

Ninja stroking his chin.
Giphy | MasterClass

Over the past four years, Pirates of the Caribbean 6 has been delayed several times over. Mostly due to COVID-19 restrictions, but in part due to Depp's legal troubles.

Very little is known about the next installment in the franchise, other than it will be an all-female film, led by Margot Robbie.

Margot Robbie in 'Wolf Of Wall Street', sitting on the floor against a chair, wearing a pink outfit.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

As of May 15th, producer Jerry Bruckheimer stated that Disney had no plans for Depp to return, but noted that "The future is yet to be decided."

Disney executive, Tina Newman, echoed Bruckheimer's sentiment, stating that she didn't "know one way or another" if Depp would appear or not.

Johnny Depp eating a bag of chips in 'Secret Window'.
Giphy |

However, the crux of the issue may not be whether or not Disney wants Depp back, but rather — would Johnny return even if they asked him to?

While testifying in court, Johnny stated, in no uncertain terms, that he planned to cut ties with Disney forever.

"The fact is, Mr. Depp," Heard's attorney began. "If Disney came to you with $300 million and a million alpacas, nothing on this earth would get you to go back and work with Disney on a Pirates of the Caribbean film?"

"That is true, Mr. Rottenborn," Depp solemnly replied.

Although Johnny seems resolved to never appear as Captain Jack Sparrow again, that hasn't stopped fans and the internet at large from fueling the fires of speculation.

At least one former Disney executive believes Depp is primed for a return as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Dwight Schrute in 'The Office'.
Giphy | The Office

"I absolutely believe post-verdict that Pirates is primed for rebooting with Johnny as Capt. Jack back on board," the anonymous source told People magazine.

"There is just too much potential box-office treasure for a beloved character deeply embedded in the Disney culture," they concluded.

Johnny Depp painting.
instagram | @johnnydepp

With both the Star Wars and various Marvel franchises getting the Disney + treatment, it stands to reason that even if we don't see Depp return on the big screen — we could very well see him as Captain Jack in a Pirates of the Caribbean limited series.