- A representative for Johnny Depp denied rumors claiming he was offered $301 million to return to the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise
- Prior to the denial, some fans said they welcome the idea of Depp reprising his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow
- Others expressed disapproval over the possibility of Depp returning to the franchise after he previously vowed he was done with it
A now-debunked rumor suggesting that Johnny Depp is in talks to reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise following his trial with ex-wife Amber Heard was met with mixed opinions on social media.
On Monday, a report surfaced claiming that Depp was working on a $301 million deal to appear in the sixth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, four years after the actor parted ways with Disney.
A representative for Depp, however, immediately shut down the speculation, telling NBC News that the report "is made up."
Despite this, the rumor started by Australian gossip site Poptopic had already gained traction online, with some welcoming the idea of another "Pirates" film starring Depp and others slamming his potential return to the franchise.
Some Twitter users suggested that there is a possibility Depp could reprise his role as Jack Sparrow one more time as a way to express his gratitude to fans "for supporting him when no company would."
"From what I've seen so far over the years, he's truly devoted to his fans. I wouldn't put it past him to ask his fanbase if he should do it ... should the offer come," one Twitter user wrote.
"It would be a resounding 'Yes' from me!" one fan tweeted.
But a number of Twitter users appeared to dislike the idea of Depp appearing in the sixth "Pirates" movie after he vowed that he would never return to the franchise no matter how much Disney offers him.
"I would normally love to see a new Captain Jack Sparrow movie, but after Johnny Depp said in court [that he'd never] go back to Disney and now he's taking $301 million, I refuse to watch any of his future content because he goes back on his word," one person commented.
"Disney doesn’t deserve Johnny Depp. To be honest, Disney needs Johnny more than Johnny needs them because we know 'Pirates of the Caribbean' will never be the same without Johnny as Jack Sparrow. Instead of spreading rumors, Disney should publicly apologize," another claimed.
Another fan suggested, "I hope Johnny Depp takes that $301 million to do that 'Pirates' movie for Disney and the movie flops. I hope not a single person watches it."
Depp played Captain Jack Sparrow in all five "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, the latest one being 2017's "Dead Men Tell No Tales."
Depp's lawyers argued during his defamation trial against Heard that the actor was dropped from the franchise after his ex-wife penned a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she called herself a victim of domestic abuse.
At one point during the trial, Heard's attorney Ben Rottenborn asked the actor, "The fact is, Mr. Depp, 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? Correct?"
Depp replied, "That is true, Mr. Rottenborn."
Depp later said during questioning by his lawyer Camille Vasquez that he felt betrayed by Disney and felt he was treated like he was "guilty until proven innocent" despite his "long and quite successful relationship" with the company.
Jack Whigham, his talent agent, also testified that Depp was set to receive $22.5 million to star in the sixth "Pirates" film, but Disney decided to go "in a different direction" after Heard published her op-ed.
However, Tina Newman, a production executive at the Walt Disney Studios, denied the claims that the op-ed had anything to do with the decision to let go of Depp for the role.
A Virginia jury later ruled that Heard was liable for defaming Depp and awarded the actor more than $10 million in damages. Heard was also awarded $2 million after partially winning her countersuit against her ex-husband.
It was previously reported that Margot Robbie was being eyed for a "Pirates" reboot. Franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer told The Sunday Times in May that they are "developing two 'Pirates' scripts — one with her, one without."