It was also reported that as per a trusted source close to the company, “Disney are very interested in patching up their relationship with Johnny Depp. They reached out to the actor prior to his defamation trial against Amber Heard and asked whether he would be interested in returning for another Pirates film or two.”
“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,” alleged the insider.
The site's source also claimed that Disney is even willing to go beyond this deal to get Depp back into Jack Sparrow's shoes, exceeding the amount Heard's lawyer claimed that the actor would refuse.
The Disney insider added, “Disney is prepping a deal of USD 301 million that will include a sizable donation to a charity of Depp's choice. The deal is reportedly for Johnny Depp to return as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 and a spin-off Disney Plus series about the early life of the Captain of The Black Pearl.”
It should be noted that this reported amount of USD 301 million is just a million over the one quoted by Heard's lawyer, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, during Depp's defamation trial. She had said, “Is Disney aware that Mr Depp has testified under oath that he would not take another 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise role for USD 300 million and a million alpacas?”
As of now, Disney has not given any confirmation or hints about Depp's return to the franchise, nor have they given any statement regarding this USD 301 million offer. Hence, there's a possibility that this might just be a rumour.
Further, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' was not the only franchise from which the actor was dropped, as Warner Bros also removed him from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the 'Fantastic Beasts' franchise following the Washington Post op-ed by Heard, which was at the centre of Depp's highly publicised USD 50 million defamation case.
In lieu of the public defamation trial, the jury reached a verdict on 1 June, deciding that Depp, proved that Heard defamed him in the 2018 op-ed. Depp has maintained that he never assaulted Heard and claimed she physically harmed him.
The jury awarded Depp USD 15 million in damages but Heard will only have to pay USD 8.4 million due to a Virginia law limiting punitive damages. In her countersuit, Heard won one of the three defamation counts and was awarded USD 2 million in damages.