The actress shared in an interview with Vanity Fair that she had been working on the project for some time, but Disney won’t seemingly move forward with it. “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 explained.
The film was first announced back in 2020 alongside another separate reboot, and would have reunited Robbie with Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson. Instead of a spin-off of the long-running franchise, it was set to feature an original story with new characters.
The news comes after Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of all five Pirates of the Caribbean movies, announced that both scripts were being worked on back in May 2022. In light of Robbie’s statement, it’s unclear if the other project — helmed by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and franchise co-creator Ted Elliot — will still sail the seven seas.
It does seem like a bit of a wasted opportunity, especially with HBO’s Our Flag Means Death having sparked a renewed interest in swashbuckler works like Black Sails, and of course, Pirates of the Caribbean. While Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow was the star of the series, the original three movies made waves within the fantasy genre for making Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) a central character. Initially a kidnapped damsel, she later embarks on the hero’s journey to become a hardy crew member worth her salt and eventually Pirate King.
The franchise, all starring Depp, went on to gross US$4.5 billion at the global box office, and ended with 2017’s Dead Man Tell No Tales (released internationally as Salazar’s Revenge). It was also the the first film franchise to have produced two or move movies that grossed over US$1 million, with Dead Man’s Chest and No Stranger Tides earning more than US$1 billion worldwide during their theatrical run.