Margot Robbie set to play female pirate in Pirates of Caribbean spin-off

Margot Robbie has come a long way since she first shot to prominence in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Her career has only grown since then. By why was Johnny Depp not considered for the role?

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie has come a long way since she first shot to prominence in 2016’s Suicide Squad. That film, not only introduced the world to the iconic Harley Quinn character from DC Animated series and comics but also managed to make Robbie a star.

Her career has only grown since then. From an Academy Award nomination for her work in I, Tonya, to an acclaimed turn as Queen Elizabeth in Mary, Queen of Scots, she has quickly risen to leading lady status. Now, she is all set to add another big role to her resume, as a pirate for a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

 

The film will reunite Robbie with her Birds of Prey writer, Christina Hodgon as the two tackle a way to bring a female pirate to the audiences. Birds of Prey was unfortunately disrupted by the Covid pandemic and forced to move to Premium Video on Demand before its box office run was complete.

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It remains DC’s lost grossing feature film as of yet. So Hodson and Robbie have their work cut out of for them. Although details about the film are scarce, we do know that this movie won’t be a sequel to the last Pirates film Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge.

Why Johnny Depp was not chosen for the role

The movie, hailing from Disney studios, will be a new film set in the same world as the Pirates films starring Johnny Depp. Given the messy divorce proceedings Depp has found himself in, with his ex Amber Heard (Aquaman’s Mera) accusing him of domestic violence, it makes sense that Disney would want to keep a popular IP up and going whilst not depending on one actor.

However, the tides in the past year have turned in the favor of Depp thanks to some recordings that were leaked and show Heard in a new light. Suffice it to say, that although it is too early to make a decision on who is at wrong, the case is more complicated than meets the eye.

 

That is probably why Disney has sought to keep this film separate from the original Pirates movies whilst still emerging fans in a world they’ve loved. All four of the Pirates of The Caribbean films have enjoyed varying degrees of success. So now the pressure is on Robbie to deliver. It is interesting however that Disney has chosen to hire an actor who is already associated with one character in particular, rival studio WB’s Harley Quinn.

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Much like how Depp is most notably associated with being Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates film, Robbie is first and foremost known for playing Harley. However, unlike Depp, she has found greater success in other roles such as her recent turn as Sharon Stone in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

Robbie is already poised to star as Barbie

To further complicate matters she has already signed up to play Barbie for directors extraordinaire Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. The two are not known for their popular films and this will be a new experience to see the team join forces to write a script for such an iconic director, though it appears that Gerwig will be the solo director in the film, with her partner assisting her in production and writing.

Margot Robbie is a Barbie for Mattel, a wild anti-hero for WB and a female Pirate for Disney are just too many mainstream roles that could possibly result in overexposure.

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That is something that actors generally avoid, sticking to one career-making role and then gaining traction through other indie projects. Mind you, this doesn’t always go well as Robert Pattinson had to end up accepting the Batman role after a decade of avoiding bigger features to run from his Twilight fame, only because his name wasn’t big enough anymore. But Robbie is very in demand at the moment, both a critical and fan favorite and while her latest Birds of Prey film did underperform, her career is in great shape.

So what this role likely indicates is that Robbie is just picking fun roles that she likes without going for the usual indie fare that most do which makes her Hollywood trajectory, all the more fun to see. Hopefully, this new female pirate will be as big a revelation as her past work.

Usama Masood Ahmad is an entertainment writer and research analyst at Global Village Space. 

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