Disney Suffers Blow In POTC Jack Sparrow Inspiration Lawsuit
Disney is hit hard in the ongoing Pirates of the Caribbeanlawsuit regarding Jack Sparrow’s inspiration. Johnny Depp portrays the eccentric pirate in a film called The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003. He was the face of the swashbuckling franchise that was based on Walt Disney’s attraction of the same title. Depp reprised his role in four sequels, Dead Man’s Chest to 2006 and 2017, On Stranger Tides, and Dead Men Tell No Tales. All of these films have grossed over $4.5 billion.
A. Lee Alfred II and Ezequiel Martnez Jr. filed a lawsuit in November 2017 alleging that Disney used a spec script of theirs sent to them from a producer as inspiration for Pirates of the Caribbean’s main character Jack Sparrow . District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall dismissed the case in 2019. He claimed that the similarities were “mostly unprotectable generic pirate fare.” However, it was quickly revived by the U.S. 9th. Circuit Court of appeals in the following year found enough similarities between the film and the screenplay to warrant a case.
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There are now new developments in the Pirates of the Caribbeanlawsuit. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alfred and Martinez have filed an amended complaint. Judge Marshall” denied Disney’s motion for summary judgement because of conflicting expert testimony.” This recent decision severely hampers Disney’s efforts to dismiss the lawsuit.
The legal battle over Jack Sparrow’s inspiration has been behind closed doors, but there is another controversy about Johnny Depp. He has been involved in a lawsuit with Amber Heard, who has accused him of abuse. Depp was not convicted of any crime, but he has been subject to several repercussions, including resigning from his position in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Disney also stated that Depp would not be returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Both lawsuits remain active, but the recent developments in the Pirates of the Caribbeanlawsuit indicate that the courts are seriously considering Alfred’s and Martinez’s case. They could be owed huge compensation for their intellectual property if Disney is found guilty of the accusations made by the writers. This could hurt the franchise’s future as Disney currently has two Pirates of the Caribbean movies in the making.