Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Johnny Depp rejected an early version of the script because it had a female villain

Clarisse Loughrey

So, according to the powerful in Hollywood, there's only allowed to be one female villain. Just one.

Certainly, the production on Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge has been overshadowed by the rumours and allegations surrounding Johnny Depp's personal life and professional behaviour, but there was a strange hiccup that occurred long before the film even went into production.

Screenwriter Terry Rossio, who's been involved in every Pirates film so far, revealed that an early version of the script was rejected by Depp for a baffling reason.

Posted on his personal blog, Rossio writes at length about the various hurdles and potential deaths a script can face during development. "My television series Magical Law lapsed when Gore Verbinski decided to direct The Lone Ranger instead," he writes. "Our theatrical feature Lightspeed was put on the back burner when Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise."

Then he adds, "My version of Dead Men Tell No Tales [the US title for Pirates 5] was set aside because it featured a female villain, and Johnny Depp was worried that would be redundant to Dark Shadows, which also featured a female villain."

Now, perhaps there are some details excluded here that actually meant the two villains were very similar on paper, but as it stands now, it's a laughable excuse.

Not only does Tim Burton's Goth romp Dark Shadows share very little in common wth the Pirates films, but it's also bizarre to suggest there can only be one female villain in the cinematic landscape at one time.

The Pirates of the Caribbean films, if anything, have suffered from the lack of variance in their villains (always a male captain with a supernatural edge), and could actually have hugely benefited from mixing things up a little.

Once again, it's beyond infuriating to see Hollywood decision-makers consistently perceive women on film as some sort of singular gimmick when they're making up half of the audience sitting watching.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge opens in UK cinemas 26 May.