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Johnny Depp Will Do Whatever It Takes to Make Pirates 5 Work

Vanity Fair logo Vanity Fair 5/15/2017 Yohana Desta

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Johnny Depp’s on a world tour to ensure that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a hit. The latest installment in the multi-million-dollar franchise is getting an aggressive global push from Disney in order to make sure its $230 million budget doesn’t go to waste. The actor, who’s recently faced a number of troubling personal issues, from alleged financial woes (which reportedly might affect the film’s bottom line) to his recent divorce, is throwing his full weight behind the franchise, recently making a surprise visit to fans in Disneyland Paris.

The actor, who plays central character Captain Jack Sparrow, made an appearance at the film’s premiere event on Sunday, standing alongside cast members Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, and more. It was the second unannounced Disney appearance from Depp, who last month surprised fans at Disneyland in California by dressing up in full Sparrow regalia and hiding in the Pirates ride, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The Paris appearance was more toned down, more of a regular press day for Depp.

© By Francois Durand/Getty Images for Disney.

“It’s endless fun,” he told Hello magazine of the film. “He’s a really fun character to play because I’m allowed to be as irreverent as I want.”

The actor was reportedly a little too irreverent on set during the making of this last film. A recent in-depth piece from The Hollywood Reporter detailed the actor’s apparent “excessive drinking, physical fights with [former wife Amber] Heard, and constant lateness on set, which often left hundreds of extras waiting for hours at a time.”

Meanwhile, the actor was also battling a number of personal financial issues. He’s currently embroiled in a lawsuit with his former business managers. For years, the actor has allegedly maintained a $2 million a month lifestyle, covering the costs of 14 different residences, yachts and luxury vehicles, security for his children, the salaries for 40 full-time employees, and more.

Depp’s managers recently reached the point where they had to tell the star that he would not be able to continue this lifestyle, despite his incredible flow of income (during the 13 years he was with TMG, he made a whopping $650 million, per T.H.R.). After news of Depp’s financial worries hit the press, coupled with troubling allegations of his abuse of Heard (Depp denied these charges, alleging that Heard was making such claims in an attempt to “secure a premature financial resolution”), many insiders have theorized that his issues could negatively impact box-office results for Pirates 5. Depp has also starred in a number of less-than-stellar films for Disney in between making Pirates, from playing the Mad Hatter in the Alice in Wonderland films to starring in the box-office flop The Lone Ranger.

That hasn’t stopped the actor from landing other opportunities, however. Aside from his role as evil wizard Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spin-off franchise Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Deadline reports that the actor was recently cast in King of the Jungle, a biopic about tech magnate John McAfee—who became rich and then decamped to a jungle in Belize, creating a new world of “guns, sex and madness.“ Though Disney does not seem keen on relinquishing Depp’s star power just yet, the Pirates 5 box office might be what cinches his future at the powerful studio. But either way, it looks like the rest of Hollywood isn’t ready to let go quite yet.

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