The saga of [movieperson id="16504"]Johnny Depp[/movieperson] and the [movie id="231606"]"Pirates of the Caribbean"[/movie] franchise has lately hit choppy waters.
After Disney studio chief Dick Cook — Depp's close creative partner — abruptly left the company, the actor said there'd been "a fissure, a crack" in his enthusiasm for the fourth "Pirates" film. On top of that, a new director, Rob Marshall, has come on-board to helm the film after three-time "Pirates" director Gore Verbinski set sail for other projects.
All of these developments cast doubt on the future of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," as the picture will be titled. MTV News had a chance to chat with Depp, People magazine's newly anointed Sexiest Man Alive, on Tuesday night at the Museum of Modern Art's Tim Burton retrospective in New York, and the star revealed several key points. He hasn't seen a script. He's unsure of what the story line will be. And while he's keen to step into the boots of pirate Jack Sparrow once again, he stopped well short of making a 100 percent commitment to return.
"The thing is, I'd love to do it," Depp responded when asked if he could assure the public that he'd reprise the role. Then he began to hedge a bit.
"If there's a script and a story that is outside of what we've done before and it's worthy of the audience's attention, I would definitely do it," he said.
Such cautious statements are commonplace in Hollywood when all the details surrounding a franchise installment have yet to be worked out. But Depp's hesitation must be seen in light of prior developments, most importantly the "fissure" comment. Would Depp really bail on "Pirates" if he felt uneasy after Cook's departure, if he didn't like the script, if he thought the story line didn't cover enough fresh ground? At the moment, it seems, those questions will continue to go unanswered.
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