Disney's sixth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, a rumored reboot said to be eyeing Guardians of the Galaxy and Jumanji star Karen Gillan for the lead role, is a "soft reboot" and could involve franchise star Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, according to a new report. Gillan is speculated to be playing red-headed pirate Redd, a brassy buccaneer recently added to an updated version of Disneyland's original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction that inspired the five-movie blockbuster franchise that has grossed a collective $4.5 billion at the global box office since first setting sail with The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003.
According to The DisInsider's Skyler Schuler, who first reported the female-led Pirates reboot and the live-action Hercules remake since confirmed to be in development at Disney, Pirates 6 is said to be a "soft reboot" similar to Paramount's Transformers spinoff Bumblebee.
The new film being set in the same universe — but not acting as a direct continuation of the five films that starred Sparrow — would allow the character to be involved, but Schuler notes it's unclear what role, if any, the drunken pirate might play in the female-led reboot.
Lee Arenberg, who played Pintel opposite Depp's kooky captain in the Gore Verbinski-directed Pirates trilogy that released between 2003 and 2007, earlier reported Disney is "definitely talking about" a sixth movie.
"They're definitely talking about it, as far as I know," Arenberg said in an April interview. On the possibility of reprising his role alongside Mackenzie Crook's Ragetti after both actors sat out 2011's On Stranger Tides and 2017's Dead Men Tell No Tales, Arenberg said, "I mean yeah, of course [I would], obviously. But they've already done two without us [laughs]. I love it, though, I love that part."
A soft reboot would seemingly abandon a plot thread teased in a post-credits scene trailing Dead Men Tell No Tales, where it was hinted the cursed Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) had returned from the grave to menace married couple Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Kiera Knightley).
When Deadpool screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese were attached to the project in 2018, Walt Disney Studios president of production Sean Bailey told The Hollywood Reporter the studio wanted to "bring in a new energy and vitality" to the franchise and "give it a kick in the pants."
Following Wernick and Reese's departure, Disney brought on Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Ted Elliott, who co-wrote the first three Pirates movies with writing partner Terry Rossio.