Why Did Robert DeNiro Turn Down Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean?

The Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise:

Robert DeNiro Turn Down Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
Robert DeNiro Turn Down Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise almost had famous actor Robert DeNiro play Captain Jack Sparrow, but why did he pass on what would become Johnny Depp’s most iconic role? It may be difficult to believe today that the series is one of cinema’s most popular franchises, but before the release of The Curse of the Black Pearl, many critics predicted that the Pirates of the Caribbean film version would be a colossal disaster. At the time, the previous major swashbuckling action film to reach theatres was 1995’s Cutthroat Island, and that Renny Harlin-directed flop lost millions, so expectations for the maritime blockbuster were low.

A Still Of Robert DeNiro
A Still Of Robert DeNiro

Of course, Johnny Depp’s famous Captain Jack Sparrow, as well as a great ensemble cast, snappy writing, and lively, imaginative directing from Gore Verbinski, ensured that The Curse of the Black Pearl was a huge hit. The film was so popular that sequels were quickly shot back-to-back, and the series continued long after Verbinski left, with the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film grossing over a billion dollars at the box office. All of this might have been avoided if another performer had believed in the series’ potential.

Robert DeNiro was originally offered the role of Captain Jack Sparrow:

Robert DeNiro was originally offered the role of Captain Jack Sparrow
Robert DeNiro As Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow was originally given to Robert DeNiro, but the actor believed the film would fail and declined the role. DeNiro’s refusal to take the part opened the way for Depp’s legendary portrayal of the pirate, resulting in box office success and a run of Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. However, DeNiro was not the only actor considered for the part, and he was not alone in withdrawing from the production in fear of the film’s failure upon release. Before Depp was cast, both Christopher Walken and Jim Carrey refused the part, with the latter filming Bruce Almighty during production.

DeNiro Is One Of The Finest Actor In The Hollywood Industry:

DeNiro One Of The Finest Actor In Hollywood Industry
DeNiro Is One Of The Finest Actor In Hollywood Industry

To be fair to DeNiro, if he had played Jack Sparrow, there’s a strong chance the film would have bombed. Depp’s campy take on the role became an instant icon, but studio officials were concerned right up to the film’s premiere. Despite DeNiro’s numerous film changes, one thing the actor has never been is delightfully arch and quirky, implying that the star would have taken the material in a different way. This might have turned The Curse of the Black Pearl into a much darker, more self-aware blockbuster. DeNiro did go on to play another campy pirate in a fantasy comedy a few years later, in 2007’s Stardust, as Captain Shakespeare. The success was comparable to Pirates of the Caribbean in that it demonstrated that DeNiro could laugh at his tough-guy screen character, but the brief appearance was not as significant or crucial as Captain Jack in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. While Stardust demonstrated his breadth, DeNiro’s absence from The Curse of the Black Pearl allowed Johnny Depp to shine in a career-defining performance.

Thus, this is the reason why Robert DeNiro turned down Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. Could you imagine what the character arc of Jack Sparrow would be like if it was played by Robert DeNiro? So, did you guys love Robert DeNiro as an actor? Do let us know. Till then, we will see you lads in the next article, but don’t forget to keep on reading Animated Times, your one-stop destination for getting a closer look into the entertainment industry, upcoming movies and TV series, celebrity gossip, and much more. We have got you all covered. Continue reading Animated Times, guys, for more.

 

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