is in development, but Johnny Depp has not yet been confirmed to return as Captain Jack Sparrow - and it might be best if it stays that way. It’s been a long road for the franchise, with the last installment coming back a box-office bomb. Since then, Disney has faced backlash for firing Depp and has had a few franchise sequel or spinoff ideas fall through. Now, it seems that a sixth will finally become a reality, but it may struggle to succeed if led by Depp’s character.
Captain Jack Sparrow has become an iconic character over the years, and that is all thanks to the talent of the actor who portrayed him. Depp made the franchise what it is, so it’s hard to imagine any installments without him. Still, with the rough recent history of the franchise, it may no longer make sense to have it led by the same character. Between the performance of the last films and the possibilities of a film set outside of Jack Sparrow's story, it may be best for the movie series to move on.
Though the initial trilogy can be considered a hit, things have been going downhill since then. The character of Jack Sparrow took a few movies to figure out. His morality was always something of a question mark, but by , he was fairly well defined as a good (if not selfish and chaotic) man. His character arc was perfectly wrapped up, and audiences were, as a whole, satisfied. Unfortunately, this made and feel slightly redundant.
Depp's performance was as stellar as ever, but there wasn't much left to care about regarding Jack's character. The films center on the pirate's quirky nature and outrageous escapes—and that just isn't cutting it anymore. What's more, that anyone still interested could hardly be bothered by the time the film came out. It's been several times longer since the franchise received a new installment, so whatever they come up with must feature a fresh character.
The first movie is when audiences first met Jack Sparrow, but he was never meant to be the main character. Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Captain Barbossa—they all shared center stage with Jack, and this helped keep the movies interesting. and changed this. New characters were introduced to everyone, but audiences were hardly given enough time to care about them. The franchise's only hope if they were to bring Jack Sparrow back for would be if the other characters would also come back. Even then, after all this time, this may feel more forced than nostalgic.
The other main characters of had their own arcs wrapped up as well. This means that, like Jack, it might not be a good idea to extend their stories any further. Thankfully, there are still many side characters that could be worth exploring. As far as the , Anamaria, and Bootstrap Bill could all be worth diving into further. This would allow the franchise to stick with something familiar while still putting a fresh spin on the plot by pulling away from Jack Sparrow.
It could be that after all these years, Depp's Jack Sparrow is a little iconic. He is one of the most recognizable movie characters in the world. He has begun to represent the stereotypical pirate, so similar characters have also appeared in other outlets. People dress up as Jack Sparrow for Halloween, imitate his quirky run, and perfect their impressions of Depp's slurred voice. Ultimately, this makes the idea of new Jack Sparrow content a little challenging to take seriously.
. Though it's difficult to tell precisely how old Jack was in , he was old enough to be Will Turner's father since it's implied that he is around the same age as Bootstrap Bill Turner. Then, in , Will's son is a grown adult, which means that, by that point, Jack would be old enough to be a great-grandfather. Given the character's lifestyle and the period in which he lived, this is an age that would be extremely unlikely for Jack Sparrow to have reached. If the series continues with the same character, it would be far beyond the realm of belief.
With everything that happened with the franchise over the years, it's hard to imagine that a new sequel would be any good. Disney alienated itself by firing Depp, and even if the actor and studio make amends, his fans won't forget any time soon. In a sense, the franchise lost before it even had a chance to release another movie. If it wants to turn things around, won't be able to depend on old tricks—which means no bringing back central characters like Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa, or Davy Jones.
Given Jack Sparrow's age at the end of , writers of may be tempted to kill him off. The pirate has escaped death and capture far too many times to get away with it forever. A future installment may wish to pull at the heartstrings by giving him a magnificent, possibly sacrificial ending that proves he was a great man all along. However, is a much better fit for his character. All he ever really wanted was to be free, and the fact that the most recent movies saw him get his beloved Black Pearl back and sail into the sunset—entirely free—is just too good an ending to undo.
The whole point of the movies is that the world is a massive place full of mysteries for the free of heart to explore. Jack Sparrow is only one of the free spirits roaming the waters within this fictional universe. Questions regarding lore have been left unanswered, such as what happens to those who die at sea without anyone captaining the Flying Dutchman or what happened to Calypso after she escaped the Brethren Court. No matter how beloved by fans, Jack Sparrow was only a small part of this. Without him, can find so much more to explore.