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Will Johnny Depp return to Pirates franchise after winning trial against Heard?

In late 2019, it was announced that Disney would be moving forward in developing a script for a Pirates of the Caribbean reboot. At the time, it hadn’t formally been announced whether Johnny Depp would be attached to the new project. Shortly after, in 2020, Depp became embroiled in a defamation case against The Sun over a 2018 article that called him a “wife beater,” which he ultimately lost. More recently, he participated in a defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote, allegedly implying he abused her. She counter-sued for $100m, accusing Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.

The actor had testified in the Virginia trial that these defamatory statements had hurt his career and that he had been dropped from Pirates 6 days after the op-ed was published. On Wednesday (1 June), a verdict was delivered for the six-week trial, with a jury ordering Heard to pay Depp 10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages. Heard was awarded $2m (£1.6m) in compensatory damages, but no punitive damages. With his recent legal victory, questions remain about whether or not Disney will reconsider his exclusion from the forthcoming reboot. Here’s everything we know so far about Johnny Depp’s future in Pirates 6.

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