“I can’t just keep taking one reprehensible paycheck job after another,” Johnny Depp is probably saying to himself. “Pirates, Lone Ranger…I have to break the cycle. How much more do I need…really? How much better can I live? How many hundreds of millions must I have in my bank account before I stop tarnishing my rep? I know that people of taste hated the last one and the third one. They’re starting to hate me in a way, I think. The cool people, I mean.

“I know that, I know that. But I can’t say ‘no’ to more truckloads of money. I can’t. I’m weak. I’m pretty good at pretending it’s all cool, at shrugging at the absurdity of making these grotesque movies. I can play the ‘who cares?’ guy. But deep down I do care. It pains me to do these things on some level. But I can’t say no.”

Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer told the L.A. Times that Depp’s starring in Pirates 5 “is going to depend on the screenplay. It always does. He’s maniacal about not wanting to disappoint his audience.” Hah!

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides crossed the billlion dollar mark at the worldwide box-office a few days ago.

Here‘s Rope of Silicon‘s Brad Brevet on the same topic.