Fact Check: Was Johnny Depp offered $301 million dollars to return to Pirates? Deal claim debunked

Written by chandan24@

In early June, rumors surrounding a deal regarding Johnny Depp’s return as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise made rounds around the web. The rumors began when an article by Australian pop-culture gossip site Poptopic.com claimed that the actor had been offered $301 million for his return to the series. However, it seems there is no confirmation regarding this claim.

As per the website, Disney reportedly sent a draft for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie along with a heartfelt note. However, no official details from neither Disney nor Depp regarding such claims have been addressed to date.

While some had questioned the legitimacy of the article by Dianne Anders, the claim was shared by numerous users on social media.

Claims about Johnny Depp’s alleged $301 million offer from Disney are unconfirmed

As per Poptopic, they sourced the information from an industry insider whose identity was not revealed in the article. The report caused further confusion over its legitimacy as Anders claimed to have an industry source, however, the article was uploaded to the portal under a ‘rumor’ tag.

In the article, the insider source is quoted saying:

“I know corporate sent him a gift basket with a very heartfelt letter, but I’m unsure how it was received. But what I can tell you is that the studio has already penned up a draft for a film about Jack Sparrow — so they are very hopeful that Johnny will forgive them and return as his iconic character.”

Legitimacy of the claims

The article’s $301 million offer claim raises concerns over its authenticity as it is surprisingly close to the amount mentioned by Johnny Depp. During the trial, the 58-year-old actor had revealed that he would not return to the franchise even if he were offered $300 million to reprise his role as Jack Sparrow.

In May, a pre-recorded deposition from Disney executive Tina Newman for the trial was played in the courtroom. Amber Heard’s lawyer Benjamin Rottenborn asked Newman:

“Is Disney aware that Mr. Depp has testified under oath that he would not take another Pirates of the Caribbean franchise role for $300m and a million alpacas?”

At the time, Newman claimed that The Walt Disney Studios was unaware of Depp’s statement. Furthermore, the claim of a $301 million offer is also questioned as neither the author of the article nor the publication is a well-recognized media group. Thus, it is unclear how they would have received a verifiable insider scoop from a person about Disney’s alleged offer to Johnny Depp.

According to CNBC, the Pirates of the Caribbean series grossed over $4.5 billion worldwide throughout five films. Previously, Johnny Depp had told Vanity Fair in 2011 that he was overpaid for the movies. At the time, it was also reported that the Kentucky native earned over $300 million in total for the first four films of the series.

Meanwhile, in the trial, Depp’s talent manager Jack Wigham claimed that the actor was offered around $22.5 million for a now-scrapped Pirates of the Caribbean 6 script. However, it must be noted that the “back-end deals” in these films can be worth millions for the stars as they would receive a cut of the box-office profit.

In addition to the concerns raised by such claims, the series is reportedly in talks with actress Margot Robbie to be the new lead in the franchise. Thus, it is highly likely that the reports of Disney’s $301 million offer to Johnny Depp are inaccurate.

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