Personally, I think the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been sliding since The Curse of the Black Pearl. One of the few things I found really enjoyable about the third installment was the casting choice of Keith Richards as Johnny Depp/Captain Jack Sparrow’s father. It takes a certain kind of man to spawn such an eccentric character as Captain Jack Sparrow, and Keith Richards is exactly that kind of man. For those of you who are unaware, Keith Richards is a legendary guitarist for The Rolling Stones. He is also quite legendary for his drug use, ranging from marijuana to heroin. This drug use probably got him the role as Captain Jack Sparrow’s father. He certainly looks like a dirty ass pirate who has never seen a decent meal in his life. The probable brain damage his drug use has caused also helps when portraying the father of a character as crazy as Sparrow. All in all, he was the perfect choice.
Now there are rumors that Disney is doing an about face and giving old Keith Richards the boot. It seems that the execs don’t want a known drug user to be involved with two of their family oriented movies, one is their limit. If they let him into the next movie they would obviously be sending the wrong message. Drudge Report says that this has to do with the release of Keith Richards’ new book, in which he explains how to do drugs safely. Disney does not want a book about doing drugs to be in any way connected to their movie, so they consider doing the thing that will bring the most attention on themselves and Keith Richards by abruptly cutting ties with him.
What really makes this interesting is the recent backlash about the cutting of Mel Gibson from The Hangover 2. Apparently there was some sort of cast uprising against Mel Gibson having a cameo in the movie because Mel sometimes has issues, loud drunken issues, with people of Jewish faith, women, and African Americans. On the other hand, they were fine with Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist, having a cameo. People called them hypocrites and looked past the fact that Mike Tyson has a very funny voice. How will people respond to Disney giving Keith Richards the boot after he has already been in a previous installment for the franchise? Will they rise up in anger? Lounge around in apathy? Nothing has been announced for sure about whether Richards will stay on the cast or not, but I will be curious to see what Disney does after word of this spreads.