I have many grievances with Hollywood. For starters, I think the fine people behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe could afford to take an extended vacation. It would also be cool if anyone with an Oscar in the bathroom and accusations of sexual assault, harassment and abusive behavior in their basement were no longer able to continue cashing in. And hey, as someone who has never once thought, “I need a women-led pirate movie,” I say, it’s pretty fucked up that Disney won’t let Margot Robbie make one.
“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—which we thought would’ve been really cool, but I guess they don’t want to do it,” Robbie revealed in a new Vanity Fair profile.
Since 2020, rumors have swirled about a Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off helmed by Robbie and her Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson, with women at the bow of the ship. Plot details were never confirmed, but Disney was reportedly attached to the project...until recently, apparently.
Now, if you’re thinking, “classic Disney,” you’d be right. To be clear, a different Pirates spin-off remains the works, with Jerry Bruckheimer to produce. In May 2022, Bruckheimer told the Sunday Times he was working on two scripts, one with Robbie, and the other without. Of course, the one sans the award-winning actress and producer won out.
The cursed franchise—which once starred alleged abuser, Johnny Depp—was a box office hit until its last sequel, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which premiered just after Depp and then-wife, Amber Heard, settled their divorce and domestic abuse case.
Since then, it was rumored that Depp would reprise his role as very few people’s favorite drunken sailor. His rep told NBC that the news was “made up,” and Bruckheimer simply said, “The future is yet to be decided,” when asked about future spin-offs involving Depp. Would I be at all surprised if Disney gave Jack Sparrow yet another redemption arc after denying Robbie her women-led Pirates film? Nope! Do I, a person who, in any other scenario, could ultimately care less if any pirate film was ever made again, hope Robbie can find smoother, less problematic, seas with another studio? Aye, captain!