Pirates of the Caribbean brought the house down when Disney released it back in 2003. While releasing a film based on a theme park ride was certainly a risky move, it seemed to pay off almost instantly, as it became one of Disney’s most popular franchises. This was, in no small part, thanks to Johnny Depp, who played the fascinating pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. However, things were almost very different with the franchise just before Depp got involved.

Pirates of the Caribbean writer, Stuart Beattie, did the rounds in the interview circuit just a few years ago.

During his various chats, according to Fox News, Beattie wrote the pirate with a specific actor in mind.

Beattie is Australian and had an Australian actor he was a fan of at the forefront of his creative writing process.

Beattie was, of course, originally planning to give the role to Hugh Jackman.

He explained at the time: “I initially wrote that character with [Hugh] Jackman in mind.”

What’s more, Beattie even named the pirate after Jackman – despite not even approaching the star for the role.

He added: “Hence the name, Captain Jack.”

Beattie also said: “I had seen [Jackman] in all these musicals growing up.

“So I knew this guy was a phenomenal talent and so that’s what I thought of, ‘Jack. Yeah, Jack Sparrow!'”

Although Jackman would have no doubt been excellent in the role, fans are certainly relieved to have gotten Depp as their Jack Sparrow instead.

However Depp himself wasn’t entirely “sure” about the film when he first heard about it.

During an interview with ScreenSlam, Depp explained how he had a few reservations about the franchise.

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“Initially,” Depp explained. “When they came to me it was just the name – Pirates of the Caribbean.

“Then, of course, the memory of the theme park ride.

“There was no concept at that time – or at least nothing that they said to me.”

Because of this, Depp went on, he didn’t jump at the chance to work on the film.

“So, early on I just wanted to wait a while,” he said. “And saw where they were going to go with it.”

Shortly after taking the role, however, Depp was almost fired for his portrayal, as the Disney bosses at the time didn’t like how he was playing Jack Sparrow.

Depp explained the Disney bosses thought he was acting “too gay” – to which he sarcastically replied: “Don’t you know? I play all my characters as gay.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is available to watch on Disney Plus.

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