Just a few years ago, Johnny Depp was one of the highest-paid actors in the world, but allegations of domestic violence made him box office poison. Petitions calling for his removal from the Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts franchises emerged. Depp, in a lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, claimed that her allegations had hurt his career.

According to a Washington Post report, Disney is said to have dropped Depp from the Pirates franchise just four days after Heard’s incendiary 2018 op-ed in the same publication, in which she claimed, without naming Depp, that she was the victim of domestic violence. Depp’s lawyers claimed that the actor’s removal from the multibillion-dollar grossing franchise was because of her allegations.

“The complaint also blamed Heard for Disney announcing that it had dropped Depp from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise four days after the op-ed was published,” the report said.

In 2018, Disney production chief Sean Bailey confirmed that Depp was no longer a part of the franchise’s future plans. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “We want to bring in a new energy and vitality. I love the [Pirates] movies, but part of the reason (writers) Paul (Wernick) and Rhett (Reese) are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants. And that’s what I’ve tasked them with.”

Previously, the original Pirates film’s screenwriter Stuart Beattie had confirmed that the studio was looking to reboot the series. “I think he’s had a great run,” he told DailyMailTV. “Obviously he’s made that character his own and it’s become the thing that he’s most famous for now. It’s been great for him and it’s been great for us. There’s that saying, ‘Don’t frown because it’s over, smile because it happened.’ The fact that they’re rebooting something that you did means that you did something that was worth rebooting. It’s an honour.”

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