Depp Says He Was Almost Fired From the First ‘Pirates’

Joseph Brannigan Lynch
Movie Talk

align="right" title="Would you fire this man? (Steve Granitz/WireImage)" />Although he's addressed Disney's initial disdain for Captain Jack Sparrow before, Johnny Depp told Larry King in a new interview that the studio actually considered firing him from the first "Pirates" film—or at least subtitling what they considered to be his unintelligible dialogue.

"Disney wanted to fire me. They couldn't understand what I was doing," Depp told King in their first-ever sit-down chat. "They were contemplating subtitling the character."

Three sequels, billions in box office booty and one Academy Award nomination for the character later, Disney obviously won't be asking Captain Jack to walk the plank anytime soon.

And Depp is more than on board for the possibility of further sequels. "I still feel like, in terms of character, Captain Jack is one I want to explore," Depp said of the flamboyant swashbuckler. "He's fun. It's a license to be totally and utterly irreverent and get away with it."

But Depp's mind has been geared more toward vampires than pirates lately. He and longtime collaborator Tim Burton just wrapped shooting "Dark Shadows," a Gothic vampire story based on a beloved, but rather campy, supernatural soap opera from the '60s.

Depp's love for the "Dark Shadows" TV series is anything but ironic. "I had watched as a kid religiously. I remember sprinting home from school to see it: I didn't want to miss a minute of it."

The 48-year-old actor also assured the semi-retired CNN interviewer that Disney's big screen adaptation of another camp classic—"The Lone Ranger"—is in fact going ahead, and that shooting may begin as early as January. Starring in the film but playing the sidekick, Depp says he always "hated" the servant-like role Tonto played in the TV series and assured King this re-imagining will put the two on equal footing. Although filming hasn't even commenced, Depp says Tonto will have a "crazy-like-a-fox stoicism" and be "on par with Captain Jack."

Johnny Depp's new movie, "The Rum Diary," hits the big screens next Friday, October 28.