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Why Johnny Depp Rejected An Early Draft Of The New Pirates Movie

The pirate's life isn't for everyone. At least that's what Johnny Depp seems to think. 

News has gotten out that Depp, star of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, rejected an early draft of the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales script. Why? The main villain was a woman. 

The information comes from longtime Pirates screenwriter Terry Rossio, who dished on the harsh realities of script creation and film production in a post on his blog, Wordplay. Rossio revealed that Javier Bardem as the sinister Captain Armando Salazar wasn't a part of Dead Men Tell No Tales at first. Instead, it was a female antagonist that was set to go sword-to-sword with Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, an idea that Depp swiftly vetoed.

According to Rossio, Depp was against the existence of such a villain in the new Pirates movie because he thought it would be "redundant to Dark Shadows," his 2012 project that also featured a female antagonist.

Rossio explained, "My version of Dead Men Tell No Tales was set aside because it featured a female villain, and Johnny Depp was worried that would be redundant to Dark Shadows, which also featured a female villain." The screenwriter joked that perhaps his Dead Men Tell No Tales script, and his other works, "simply sucked," but he placed a particular emphasis on how the proposed villain's sex was a deal breaker for Depp. 

"Usually when I go back to read a screenplay that wasn't produced, it holds up, often better than the film that was eventually produced," said Rossio. "[But] sometimes it just takes a single decision by a single person, often just a whim, to destroy years of story creation and world-building."

Considering how well female-led films like Mad Max: Fury Road and Arrival have fared with fans and critics, it's certainly odd to hear that anyone would be wary of including a female character in a movie. Perhaps Depp truly felt his reason for a omitting female villain in Dead Men Tell No Tales was sound, or maybe this is just a classic example of Hollywood sexism. 

In any case, Depp's decision is undoubtedly bizarre. It isn't exactly doing him any favors, either. Following last year's abuse allegations and the recent rumors of reckless spending, Depp is in deep. And this news may only sink him down further.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is out in theaters May 26. Until then, take a look at the actors who were almost cast in Pirates of the Caribbean