Johnny Depp, Jerry Bruckheimer, Instagram

Instagram

It's hard to imagine the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise without Johnny Depp, but the team at Disney wasn't always convinced the actor had what it took to portray the now iconic swashbuckler Captain Jack Sparrow. 

"Yeah, they wanted to fire me," Depp revealed during a panel at Sunday's A.F.I. Fest, adding, "It trickled back to me that [former Disney CEO] Michael Eisner went on some sort of bent about how 'Goddamnit Johnny Depp's ruining the film! Is it drunk? Is it gay?' So I fully expected to be fired." 

The 52-year-old Black Mass star's over the top performance even prompted another executive to call and ask, "What the f--k are you doing?" which Depp said set him up for the perfect response. 

Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Disney Enterprises

"I said, 'Well don't you know all my characters are gay?' Depp joked. "I really expected to be fired, but I wasn't for some reason. They were actually gonna put subtitles under my character, they couldn't understand Captain Jack."

Lucky for Pirates fans, Disney took a gamble on Johnny's drunkenly charming antics and it paid off in a big way. 

The original 2003 movie led to three more extremely lucrative films, an Oscar nod for Depp and a fifth installment, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, is set to sail into theaters next summer. 

Not too shabby for a role that almost landed on the cutting-room floor! 

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