The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer said he would ‘love’ to have star Johnny Depp back in the fold in a recent interview.

The 79-year-old Hollywood superproducer sang Depp’s praises while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter for an interview published Monday about his lengthy career.

In it, Bruckheimer seemed on board to have the 59-year-old actor — who reached a $1 million settlement with his ex-wife Amber Heard over his defamation suit against her on Monday — return to star in the series.

Last month, sources told that Depp would not be returning for a sixth film in the Pirates series, following a rumor that his name had been spotted on a call sheet.

‘I would love to have him in the movie,’ Bruckheimer said while discussing the possibility of a sixth Pirates film.

‘He’s a friend, a terrific actor and it’s unfortunate that personal lives creep into everything we do,’ he added.

Earlier in the interview, Bruckheimer was asked whether he believed Disney would allow Depp to lead another Pirates film.

‘You’d have to ask them. I can’t answer that question. I really don’t know,’ he said.

The producer also responded to Depp’s previous claims that the franchise would have to kill off his character Captain Jack Sparrow if he returned for a sixth and final film.

‘You can’t. We tried to kill him. It didn’t work,’ Bruckheimer said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Bruckheimer discussed his recent success with the megahit Top Gun: Maverick, which has grossed more than $1 billion thanks to its strategy to stay in theaters for an extended period of time, rather than quickly moving to streaming.

Depp was beset in recent years by claims of abuse from his ex-wife Amber Heard.

He sued her for defamation in response to a Washington Post op-ed she wrote referencing a past abusive relationship, though he was not named in the article.

A jury later awarded Depp more than $10 million in his defamation suit, but, confusingly, also ruled in favor of Heard on one of her counterclaims, awarding her $2 million.

With the results of their settlement, Heard will now pay Depp $1 million, a significant reduction, and she does not have to accept guilt and will be allowed to speak about her experiences with Depp moving forward.

Speaking with The Sunday Times in May, Bruckheimer previously said there were no plans to bring Depp back to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, though Margot Robbie was still in the running for a spin-off film at the time.

More recently, she claimed in an interview that the film wouldn’t be made, though Bruckheimer said he was continuing work to develop it, though it’s not clear if she would still be its intended star.

Though Depp claimed in his trial that Heard’s op-ed hurt his career, reports of his alleged drug and alcohol predated it, and he reported became difficult to work with on film sets.

During his defamation trial, his former agent Tracey Jacobs testified that he used an earpiece on set to be fed his lines, though the actor claimed that he had noises and music piped in to help him get in the right mindset for a performance in a 2018 Vanity Fair profile.

Rumors previously began circulating in November that Depp would return to the Pirates series after a report claimed he would be reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow despite being axed from the franchise by Disney in 2018.

However, sources confirm to that the information is false.

Depp last played the swashbuckling character in 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, before producers decided they wanted to bring in ‘new energy’ to the hugely popular film series.

An insider had alleged to The Sun that a sixth film in the franchise was in the pipeline with a working title of A Day At the Sea, claiming: ‘Johnny is set to return as Captain Jack Sparrow and is scheduled to start filming at the beginning of February at a top secret location in the UK.’

Meanwhile, the insider further claimed: ‘Everything is in the early stages and there is still no director attached to the project, which is being called A Day At The Sea.

‘Johnny is expected to do a test shoot in early February before the production gets fully underway.’

The source continued: ‘A call sheet has been distributed among those in the know. Bruce Hendricks, who worked on the first three films, is named as the Executive Producer on the new project.’

In 2018, a Disney producer claimed that Depp would not be asked to return, saying they wanted to bring a ‘new energy’ to the much-loved films.

New ideas to breathe life into the franchise, included a female-led Pirates Of The Caribbean, starring Margot Robbie.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair this month, the Oscar nominee revealed the highly-anticipated of the film will her in it will not happen.

‘We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led—not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story—which we thought would’ve been really cool, but I guess they don’t want to do it,’ she said of Disney.

While he may not be doing another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, over the summer it was announced that Depp would be directing his first film following his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.

The father-of-two will be directing the film Modigliani, a biopic about Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Depp will be co-producing the film with Al Pacino and Barry Navidi in what will be the first flick he has helmed since making his feature directorial debut with the 1997 film The Brave.

Modigliani, which is based on the play written by Dennis McIntyre and has been adapted for the silver screen by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski, follows the artist in Paris in 1916.

‘Long considered by himself a critical and commercial failure, Modigliani navigates a turbulent and eventful 48 hours that will become a turning point in his life, ultimately solidifying his reputation as an artistic legend,’ THR writes.

Production is set to begin in Europe in spring 2023 and casting will also be revealed soon, according to THR.

News of the movie comes after Depp took on the role of King Louis XV in Jeanne Du Barry, his first film role since his defamation trial against Amber.

Jeanne Du Barry marks a return for Johnny after much of Hollywood blacklisted him following domestic violence accusations from Amber.

Filming on the project reportedly began in July – following the end of the trial – and is expected to last for 11 weeks, according to Deadline.

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