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The Real Reason Orlando Bloom Abandoned The Pirates Of The Caribbean Franchise

Long before it practically printed money with "Star Wars" and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney struck gold with "Pirates of the Caribbean." Despite being loosely based on a dated theme park attraction, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" took the world by storm in 2003, kicking off what would become a powerhouse franchise and introducing moviegoers to a swashbuckling crew of original characters. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is undeniably the standout of the bunch, but at the same time, it's worth remembering that he wasn't the only one in the "Pirates" spotlight.

Alongside villains like Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and reluctant allies such as Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) was William Turner (Orlando Bloom). A blacksmith and the son of pirate "Bootstrap" Bill Turner (Stellan Skarsgård), he found himself opposite and beside Jack Sparrow throughout a whirlwind of adventures. He made his franchise debut in "Curse of the Black Pearl," setting him up for prime spots in the next two sequels, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." However, Turner would mysteriously disappear for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." 

So, why didn't Orlando Bloom return to the "Pirates" franchise for the fourth film in the saga? Here's what we know.

Bloom wanted to try out new creative avenues

Unlike many cases of missing characters in Hollywood, Orlando Bloom and Will Turner's absence from "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" didn't stem from behind-the-scenes drama or pay disagreements. Rather, the actor just wanted to seek out new acting avenues, as he told MTV News in 2010 ahead of the film's release. "I had a great time making those movies. I just really wanted to do different things, but I think it's going to be great," Bloom said, joking that Will was likely swimming at the bottom of the ocean among the fish during the events of "On Stranger Tides."

Thankfully for Orlando Bloom and Will Turner fans, neither of their "Pirates of the Caribbean" stories concluded with "At World's End." Both made a comeback for 2017's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," which saw Turner — now the barnacle-covered captain of the Flying Dutchman — freed of his curse by his and Elizabeth Swan's (Kiera Knightley) son, Henry (Brenton Thwaites). "They've kind of gone back to that old style, and it's great," he said of the movie in 2017 (via Digital Spy), adding, "It's fantastic entertainment. Johnny's doing what he does best so it's 'Pirates' movies at their best, really."

Should "Pirates of the Caribbean 6" someday materialize, time will tell if Orlando Bloom will play Will Turner once again. After all, with Johnny Depp more than likely out as Captain Jack Sparrow, the series will need all the help it can get.