AceShowbiz - A rumor has emerged of Johnny Depp's possible return to the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise following his defamation trial against Amber Heard, but fans should not get their hopes high. A representative for the actor has spoken up to clarify the news.
According PopTopic, which cited an industry insider as its source, Disney offered Depp a $301 million contract deal for him to return as Jack Sparrow to the franchise. The studio reportedly prepared the lucrative contract as a formal apology and request for him to star in another "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie as well as a Disney+ series.
"Disney is very interested in patching up their relationship with Johnny Depp," the source told the website, nearly four years after the actor parted ways with Disney. "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," the source added. "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."
However, Depp's rep has clarified that there's no truth to the report. The representative tells NBC News, "This is made up."
Depp played Jack Sparrow in all five "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, with the latest one being 2017's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales". Back in May, amid the actor's legal battle with his ex Amber Heard, producer Jerry Bruckheimer said there was no plan for the actor to return in another "Pirates" project at the time. "Not at this point," he told The Sunday Times. "The future is yet to be decided."
Depp came out victorious in the defamation trial, with a Virginia jury finding that Heard was liable of defaming the "Alice in Wonderland" star. The jury awarded $10 million to Depp in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate later reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, which is the state's statutory cap or legal limit, making his total damages less than $10.4 million.
As for Heard's countersuit, the jury awarded the "Aquaman" actress $2 million in compensatory damages.