JOHNNY Depp returns to the Pirates Of The Caribbean as Captain Jack Sparrow – five years after the last film.
Depp, who played the drunken buccaneer in all of the previous five films, is scheduled for a test shoot in the UK in February according to a new production callsheet.
Insiders said the working title of the new film made by Disney was A Day At The Sea.
A source said: “Johnny returns as Captain Jack Sparrow and begins filming at a top secret location in the UK in early February.
“Everything is in the early stages and there is no director yet attached to the project, which is called A Day At The Sea.
“Johnny is expected to do a test shoot in early February before full production starts.
“A call sheet has been distributed among the experts.
“Bruce Hendricks, who worked on the first three films, is named as an executive producer on the new project.
“All other details are kept under lock and key. The entire project is shrouded in secrecy and Disney wants to keep everything a secret as much as possible.”
Depp, 59, debuted in 2003 as Sparrow in The Curse Of The Black Pearl.
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The first five films grossed over £3.4 billion worldwide and are said to have made Depp over £200 million.
His future in the franchise was thrown into question after he lost his libel trial against The Sun in November 2020 after being labeled a “wife beater” in an article about him and his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp, who split from Amber Heard, 36, in 2016 after a year of marriage, then sued her for libel in the US and won in June.
During that process, Heard’s legal team asked Depp if he would ever return, asking, “If Disney came to you with $300 million dollars and a million alpacas, nothing on this earth could make you want to go back.” go and work with Disney on a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie?”
Depp replied, “That’s true”.
Women’s charities said they were concerned to learn Depp had been re-signed for the role.
Women’s Aid said: “If someone is accused or found guilty of domestic violence, it is important that all employers take this seriously, including employers in film and TV.
“When domestic violence is swept under the carpet and quickly forgotten, it sends a dangerous message that it is not that serious.
“Domestic violence couldn’t be more serious, with three women being killed every two weeks by a current or former partner in the UK.”
Fans of the movies and Depp started a petition to get him back on board as the morally devoid looter — with more than 800,000 people signing it in an effort to pressure bosses to sign him on.
Last week, Margot Robbie revealed that a new female-led Pirates project had been shut down.
The production was believed to have been made to bridge the gap after Depp moved away from the franchise.
Robbie, 32, told Variety: “We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led – not fully female-led – but just a different kind of story, which we thought would have been really cool.
“But I think they don’t want to do it.”