Johnny Depp could face up to 10 years in prison or a maximum fine of AU$340,000 (£170,000) if he is found guilty of bringing his dogs into Australia illegally.
The Captain Jack Sparrow actor has been shooting the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean film, titled Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men No Tales, in Queensland since February. Norwegian duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, who recently directed the first two episodes of Netflix’s Marco Polo, are behind the camera.
Earlier this month (May) Depp’s stay down under made headlines when he was told that his dogs, Pistol and Boo, must “bugger off” out of the country or face being put down after apparently failing to adhere to quarantine restrictions. The Yorkshire terriers, which are understood to have entered the country on Depp’s private jet, have since returned safely to the US.
Now officials have confirmed that Depp could be liable to a decade-long spell behind bars or a substantial fine if his case goes to court and he is convicted. In addition, his private jet’s pilot could face up to two years behind bars for his role in bringing Pistol and Boo in the country. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the incident was described as “very serious” by Australian Agriculture Department officials during a Senate committee meeting in Canberra yesterday afternoon (May 25).
Following the quarantine incident, Depp’s working visit to Australia made headlines again last week (May 21) when a publicist was forced to deny that the actor had stormed off the set of the new Pirates Of The Caribbean film so that he could fly back to the US to address supposed relationship problems with his wife, Amber Heard.
Disney has set Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men No Tales for release on July 7, 2016. Disney’s plot synopsis for the sequel teases: “Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artefact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.”
Alongside Depp and Skyfall actor Bardem, the fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean film will star former Skins actress Kaya Scodelario, who joined the cast in January, and young up-and-coming Australian actor Brenton Thwaites. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Rush will reprise his regular Pirates role as Captain Barbossa.