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Johnny DeppWithout Johnny Depp would -- or should or could -- the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies even continue? That's the big question on deck after a recent article from The Hollywood Reporter.

With "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" just a few weeks away from release, the publication spoke with Depp, who has played the now-iconic Captain Jack Sparrow in the wildly successful films since 2003, about the future of the franchise and his place in it. They report that not only has Terry Rossio already turned in a script for a fifth "Pirates" movie which Disney wants to make in 3D, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer is a go again.

But what about Depp? He told THR the decision for him to take part in the fifth, yet-to-be-titled "Pirates," "Boils down to story, script and filmmaker." In fact, it sounded like there was some reluctance on the actor's part to sign on immediately. "It's not something where I would say, 'Let's shoot it next month to get it out by Christmas 2012," he said, adding, "We should hold off for a bit. They should be special, just like they are special to me."

This raises some big question marks. What would Disney do if Depp said no? Would they dare continue "Pirates" without him in Captain Jack's boots? Would fans jump ship if he did, too? Shiver me timbers, it's too much to think about.

Until the Johnny/"Pirates" mystery is solved, check out the rest of today's big casting news from Hollywood, including Brendan Fraser's slew of new projects and Malin Akerman's attachment to "Rock of Ages."


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