Johnny Depp’s Pirates Of The Caribbean co-star Kevin McNally has spoken out in defense of the actor and insisted he must return to the franchise.
The star, 65, who played Johnny’s character Captain Jack Sparrow’s first mate Joshamee Gibbs across all five movies, spoke to Express about the disgraced actor, who has come under fire for his bitter spat with his ex Amber Heard.
Amid ongoing discussion of the possibility of the return of Jack Sparrow, Kevin insisted he is an integral part of the franchise, and insisted: ‘I have never seen a hint of a dark side to him’, in the wake of ‘woman beater’ allegations.
He said: ‘I think there was a general feeling that without Jack there is no Pirates franchise. And there’s probably a lot of truth in that.’
Here he is! Johnny Depp’s Pirates Of The Caribbean co-star Kevin McNally has spoken out in defense of the actor and insisted he must return to the franchise
When asked about the possibility of a return from Johnny, Kevin said: ‘Definitely. I’ve never seen a hint of any dark side to Johnny…
‘I see a great humanitarian and a beautiful human being. I don’t see any impediment for him coming back and playing Jack Sparrow.’
He conceded that if it was not possible for Mr Gibbs and Captain Jack to return, then they could return as different characters in a spin-off.
He said: ‘I think there was a general feeling that without Jack there is no Pirates franchise. And there’s probably a lot of truth in that…
Starring role: The star, 65, played Johnny’s character Captain Jack Sparrow’s first mate Joshamee Gibbs across all five the movies
‘But now there have been questions about that, certainly why not have other Pirate films and certainly then why not have Jack back or Jack playing a different part.
‘I mean I was musing about this the other day and you can easily think of stories in which maybe somebody is looking for Jack and come to Mr Gibbs and say, ‘How would I find Jack?’
‘And so have a whole bunch of people on a trek to find the legendary Jack Sparrow. You can certainly keep those names alive, even in a film that doesn’t necessarily contain the [original] characters too much.”
Depp had previously claimed he is a victim of cancel culture, warning that ‘no one is safe’ and urging those affected to ‘stand up’ for themselves.
Stars: Amid ongoing discussion of the possibility of the return of Jack Sparrow, Kevin insisted he is an integral part of the franchise, and insisted: ‘I have never seen a hint of a dark side to him’, in the wake of ‘woman beater’ allegations
In July 2020, he lost a high-profile case at the High Court in London, after The Sun newspaper described him as a ‘wife beater’ and he sued.
His ex-wife Amber Heard filed for divorce in 2016, accusing him of verbal and physical abuse, and she testified in London. Depp lost his lucrative role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise in the aftermath of the case.
Speaking at the festival last month, Depp said: ‘It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement based on what essentially amounts to polluted air.
‘It’s so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe. It takes one sentence and there’s no more ground, the carpet has been pulled.
‘It’s not just me that this has happened to, it’s happened to a lot of people. This type of thing has happened to women, men.
‘It doesn’t matter if a judgement, per se, has taken some artistic license. When there’s an injustice, whether it’s against you or someone you love, or someone you believe in – stand up, don’t sit down. Cause they need you.’
Confident: Depp is pictured on July 29, 2020, outside the High Court in London during the case
Back in the U.S., Depp has recently won the right to proceed with a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard.
In August, a Virginia judge ruled that he can proceed with the litigation, based on a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote saying she was a domestic violence survivor.
She did not mention Depp in the story, though she publicly accused him of abusing her in their 2016 split.
The actor is trying to clear his name after losing a defamation suit against The Sun.
His U.S. suit, filed in Fairfax County, Virginia, accuses Heard of creating a ‘hoax’ account of abuse.
Heard had requested the libel suit against her, filed in March 2019, be thrown out, claiming the ruling in the UK case should swing any new cases in her favor because they both relate to domestic abuse allegations against Depp.
Shock: Heard claimed that Depp had attacked her, and her legal team showed photos alleging abuse (pictured in 2016)
But Judge Penny Azcarate ruled the statements made by The Sun and Heard were ‘inherently different’, and said the case should proceed.
The ruling stated: ‘The Sun’s interests were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false.
‘[Heard’s] interests relate to whether the statements she published were false.’
The ruling also noted that Depp filed the defamation suit against The Sun before Heard’s op-ed was published – and that she was not named in the case against the British paper.
In the December 2018 op-ed, the actress wrote: ‘I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.’
Speaking out: His ex-wife Amber Heard filed for divorce in 2016, accusing him of verbal and physical abuse, and she testified in London (pictured in 2011)