Jerry Bruckheimer’s recent statement on Pirates of the Caribbean 6 and Margot Robbie’s cancelled Pirates of the Caribbean spinoff makes sense.
Veteran blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer is right to say that Pirates of the Caribbean 6 needs to revive interest in the franchise before Margot Robbie’s female-led Pirates of the Caribbean spinoff can work. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been in trouble for some time. While the dubious future of the series was exacerbated in 2022 by the legal troubles of its central star Johnny Depp, the blockbuster franchise has been on the rocks since 2017, when the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie arrived to the worst reviews of the series to date and the lowest box-office earnings since the original movie, 2003’s The Curse of the Black Pearl.
While the fifth movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales, could have ended the Pirates of the Caribbean series perfectly if the sequel had killed off Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, the humdrum installment failed to make this risky move. As a result, the Pirates of the Caribbean series has stalled in the intervening five years. In December 2020, it was announced that a female-led Pirates of the Caribbean reboot starring Margot Robbie would revive the franchise, but Robbie said in a 2022 interview that this project has been quietly shelved. While this may seem like more bad news for fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it might be the best thing for the franchise.
Bruckheimer Is Right: POTC 6 Needs To Happen Before Any Reboots
In the wake of Robbie’s announcement that her Pirates of the Caribbean reboot is dead in the water, series producer Jerry Bruckheimer was asked about the future of the series as a collective and this canceled project specifically. Bruckheimer didn’t say whether Johnny Depp would return in Pirates of the Caribbean 6, but he did concede that Robbie’s female-led reboot has been shelved until a sixth movie proved there was still interest in the series itself. Bruckheimer said, “I think that that script will come forward at a certain point. We developed two different stories for Pirates and the other one’s going forward first, so that’s what we’re working on.”
While this might not be ideal news for fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise who want to see Robbie’s project sooner, Bruckheimer is right to take this approach. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been out of theaters for half a decade now, while every earlier installment in the franchise has followed a reliable formula that centered on Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. Replacing the star would be a tall order, so making Pirates of the Caribbean 6 a direct sequel that either recasts, kills off, or brings back Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, would be the best step forward for the imperiled series. The worst thing Pirates of the Caribbean can do is hide from this issue.
Margot Robbie’s Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie Should Eventually Still Happen
Bruckheimer’s comments make it clear that Robbie’s Pirates of the Caribbean project is not canceled. Instead, it’s shelved until the franchise has been revived by a more traditional sequel. This approach makes sense, as Pirates of the Caribbean 6 will be more familiar to existing fans and is likelier to tempt viewers back into theaters than a reboot that might not feature established Pirates of the Caribbean characters. In the spinoff, it is unlikely that Robbie would play Jack Sparrow, so finishing the original character’s plot before focusing on a new heroine makes more sense than straddling two stories.
A Robbie-starring Pirates of the Caribbean movie has a lot of potential. Without Jack’s constant comedic interjections, Robbie’s heroine could star in a darker, scarier spinoff and the actor’s impressive string of credits in the action genre proves she is a perfect fit for a swashbuckling adventure. Furthermore, moving on from Jack’s story could give the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise a chance to focus on its supporting stars, with Robbie’s heroine sharing the limelight (in contrast with the increasingly Depp-centric sequels). However, for Robbie’s Pirates of the Caribbean spinoff to succeed, the reboot should come after Pirates of the Caribbean 6 wraps up the Jack Sparrow saga, and not before.
More: POTC Prequels Can Fix The Franchise’s Jack Sparrow Problem