pirate ship
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
June 28, 2022 ·  4 min read

The Truth About Johnny Depp’s Rumored $301 Million Pirates of the Caribbean Return

Ever since their famous defamation trial, people just can’t seem to stop speculating about both of the actors involved. This time, the speculations are about Johnny Depp and whether or not he will return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. A rumor in early June started that Disney was set to pay the actor $301 million to return as his beloved character Captain Jack Sparrow. As of now, however, those rumors appear to not be verified.

Rumors That Johnny Depp Will Return to The Pirates of the Caribbean Are False

In 2018, actress Amber Heard published an op-ed in the Washington Post alleging that she had been the victim of domestic abuse. Though she never mentioned her famous ex-husband, Johnny Depp, by name, the insinuation was enough. Disney then dropped the actor from the sixth and final installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. This was reportedly a more than $22 million loss for Depp. That film, subsequently, still has not been made. (1)

In early June, an anonymous source who claims to work for Disney leaked to Australian entertainment site Poptopic that Depp had accepted an offer of $301 million from Disney to return to the franchise. The rumor is that not only will he return for the sixth and final Pirates of the Caribbean film, but that he will be part of a Disney+ spin-off series about the early life of Jack Sparrow, the captain of The Black Pearl. 

“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,” the source told Poptopic.

This alleged source also apparently spoke to People magazine. To them, they also said that a Jack Sparrow comeback was happening.

“I absolutely believe post-verdict that ‘Pirates’ is primed for rebooting with Johnny as Capt. Jack back on board,” they said. “There is just too much potential box-office treasure for a beloved character deeply embedded in the Disney culture,”

Read: Does the Johnny Depp Verdict Mark the End of ‘Believe All Women’ in Hollywood?

Fake News?

Popular rumor debunking website Snopes looked into the rumors a little more closely to see if they were true. As they discovered, there is nothing to back these rumors up and they are, inherently, untrue. Firstly, is Johnny Depp’s actual testament in court that no matter what Disney offered him, he would never return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

During the trial, Amber Heard’s lawyer asked Depp the following question:

“And the fact is, Mr. Depp, if Disney came to you with $300 million dollars 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?” (2)

The actor responded by saying “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”

So, $301 million dollars is not sufficient for the actor, nor is the inclusion of one million alpacas. The alpacas were brought into question because of a woman who came to support Depp at the courthouse one of the days during the trial. The woman works for a company called My Pet Alpaca, which offers people the opportunity to spend time with alpacas, goats, and other animals. She sat outside the courthouse with two alpacas that were wearing signs that said “Justice For Johnny”.

Disney Confirms The Rumor To Be False

Heard’s lawyers also played a pre-recorded deposition during the May trial where another one of Heard’s lawyers asked Tina Newman from Walt Disney studios the same question.

“Would Disney entertain paying Mr. Depp more than $300 million and provide him with more than a million alpacas to be able to obtain his services for any future ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ role?” the lawyer asked.

Newman replied in the same way that Depp had: No. The entertainment company would not be offering the star that much money, nor the alpacas, to return to the series. Snopes attempted to reach out to Poptopic about their article, as well as to the two writers listed to have worked on it, however, they were unsuccessful.

So before you get your hopes up: No, Johnny Depp probably isn’t returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, at least not for the unverified sum of 301 million dollars. Whether or not the sixth and final film will ever be made is still unknown.

Keep Reading: Amber Heard challenges Johnny Depp to do his own TV interview if he ‘has a problem’


  1. Johnny Depp could reprise Captain Jack ‘Pirates’ role with $301M deal: report.” NY Post. Ben Cost. June 27, 2022.
  2. Was Johnny Depp Offered ‘$301M Disney Deal’ for ‘Pirates’ Return?Snopes. Jordan Liles. June 10, 2022.