Pirates captain Bruckheimer still has no idea how Johnny Depp hurt his hand on the Gold Coast
Friday - 12/05/2017 01:01
IT was the injury that put hundreds of crew out of work as production on the biggest film ever made in Australia ground to a halt — but Pirates 5 co-producer Jerry Bruckheimer still has no idea how Johnny Depp did it.
Less than a month after cameras began rolling on the $300 million-plus blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on the Gold Coast in February 2015, production shut down after Depp returned to the US on March 11 to seek treatment for a hand injury.
Senior production sources told the Bulletin at the time that Depp hurt his hand when he smashed a mirror after a heated phone conversation with his then wife, Amber Heard, following a “weekend bender” with friends at the Coomera mansion he lived in during the Coast shoot.
Depp was initially expected back on deck Down Under two weeks later but as his absence dragged on, production on the Walt Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer co-production shut down and more than 200 crew members were stood down without pay. Filming eventually resumed when Depp returned on April 20.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Bruckheimer said the injury “was pretty serious” but he still doesn’t know how it happened.
“We don’t really know. He got it caught in a car door, or he got it caught in a sliding door. I’ve heard a couple of versions. You’ve got to understand the kind of pressure Johnny was under in Australia. At times helicopters would follow him home. There would be so many media outside his gates that trucks were feeding them. There was so much stuff made up about him.”
However, sources who spoke to THR confirmed reports about Depp’s antics weren’t made up.
“Time and again, Bruckheimer, an assistant director and a flotilla of Disney executives led by production chief Sean Bailey were forced to huddle and debate how to handle their star’s tardiness,” THR said.
The THR report said Depp’s lateness and alleged heavy drinking caused enough concern that his then agent, Tracey Jacobs, argued with Bruckheimer on the film’s Helensvale set.
“She went over to Jerry and said, ‘You’ve got to do something! You’re the producer’. He said, ‘You do something. You’re the agent.’
“Everyone was an innocent bystander watching this train wreck,” the source said.
Mr Bruckheimer has denied the incident occurred.
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THR said a staffer would sit in a car outside Depp’s house to report back exactly when he woke up each morning — “or afternoon”.
“When he got up, he’d turn on the light, and ... they’d call the line producer, who would then call the directors (Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg]) ‘He’s up! He’s getting ready! They even had a special code term, like ‘The eagle has landed’. Johnny had no idea this was going on.”
THR said Disney executives fear Depp’s ‘personal peccadillos’ could impact the marketing of the big-budget film and future of the $US3.7 billion Pirates box-office franchise after Depp’s last big Disney movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass, lost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lured to Australia to film with the help of $21 million in Federal Government incentives and an as-yet-undisclosed top up from the Queensland Government, the Jerry Bruckheimer/Walt Disney Pictures co-production Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens in cinemas around the world on May 25.