Pirates of The Caribbean is Johnny Depp’s biggest role, but it nearly turned out very differently for the 50-year-old actor, who has revealed that Disney nearly axed him from the film entirely back when they were making the very first film.

The Lone RangerThe last straw? Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger

“They couldn't understand what I was doing. You know? To the point where Disney wanted to – wanted to fire me. They didn't understand the character. They were actually contemplating subtitling the film," Depp said, in an upcoming interview with CNN's Larry King.

"I was probably as close to getting fired as anyone could be. I spoke to one of the execs at the time and said, 'You're right, you should fire me – but you'll have to pay me for my time'." And that time would have cost a lot of money. Luckily for Disney, they decided to keep him on, and four films later, a fifth one is in production, set for release in 2015.

The films as a whole have managed to gross over $3.7b for Disney at the box office, which compared to a budget that doesn’t exceed $1b for all four, is pretty good going. Now, though, the tables have turned, and Depp is contemplating quitting acting.

Johnny DeppDon't quit, Johnny, just do something good?

He’ll still do Pirates 5 – he’s contracted to do that – and another Alice in Wonderland film could be his last. "I wouldn't say I'm dropping out any second, but I would say it's probably not too far away. When you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year and you realise that you've said written words more than you've had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking about that as an insane option for a human being," he told The BBC.

Perhaps it isn’t time for Depp to stop acting, but rather time for him to start. He’s dedicated himself to the mainstream recently, working with studios and people striving only for profit, which can have a negative effect on the artistic integrity of a film. A return to the Ed Wood/Edward Scissorhands days would be a most welcome turn of events.