Cast your minds back to the summer of 2020. (It feels like a long time ago, we know.) One of the projects proposed during those uncertain times was a female-driven spinoff to Disney’s hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The movie would have starred The Suicide Squad’s Margot Robbie, and was supposedly an “original story with new characters under the Pirates moniker, itself inspired by the long-running attraction at Disneyland.”
The project never really came up again, and now we know why: It’s not going to happen. In a new profile with Vanity Fair, Robbie reveals that the project is dead. “We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led—not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story,” she explained, adding “which we thought would’ve been really cool, but I guess they don’t want to do it.” (They being Disney.)
To date, there have been five Pirates of the Caribbean movies, all starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. Even before Depp’s various controversies, the series was waning; the final film in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, got dreadful reviews and grossed less than $800 million worldwide — which sounds like a lot until you consider that previous Pirates sequels had made over $1 billion worldwide. A script for a sixth film was written but never made, and Depp has since said he’s not interested in making another Pirates.
Between that news and this revelation from Robbie, it seems like the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise could be over — unless Disney is thinking of completely restarting it in a totally new fashion. Robbie can next be seen in Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, which is scheduled to premiere in theaters on December 23. And Disney hasn’t abandoned movies based on their theme park attractions by any means. They recently shot a new version of The Haunted Mansion, which should open in theaters next summer.