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Disney Parks Gets a Win With Pedro Pascal Over Johnny Depp

It seems the whole world is currently having a Pedro Pascal moment.

The Mandalorian actor has found himself a hot commodity in the television sphere, becoming one of the highest-paid TV actors in his latest hit show, The Last of Us on HBO.

With his Disney and Star Wars ties, Pedro Pascal has truly become a familiar face, but it seems Pascal is much easier to work with for Disney than the divisive Johnny Depp.

pedro-pascal-mandalorian

Credit: Variety

Between his roles in The Last of Us, Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian, and the hilarious movie The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) Pedro Pascal has cemented himself as one of Hollywood’s most popular actors.

The Chilean actor has conquered the internet, with social media abuzz with memes, photos, and praise for the trending superstar. Pascal – real name JosĂ© Pedro Balmaceda Pascal – has not only featured in some of the most beloved shows of the past few years but also recently became one of Saturday Night Live‘s (SNL) most popular hosts, starring in a well-received Mario Kart parody.

And with all this popularity, it would seem Disney might want to profit from their Disney+ Mandalorian star. Back in November 2022, Din Djarin and Grogu made their Disney Park debuts at Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge in Anaheim, California. 

The character meet and greet was eagerly awaited, and of course, was easy for Disney to pull off. Why? Character and actor likeness was not an issue.

grogu mandalorian disney

Credit: Disney

The Mandalorian protagonist is renowned for his masked appearance. Those from Mandalore, like Din Djarin, prove their devotion to the creed by never removing their helmets, with their armor proving to be symbolic in the Lucasfilm series.

The helmet creed meant that Disney had an easier approach to getting Jon Favreau’s Star Wars series into the theme parks, as only Pedro Pascal’s voice was required to bring the characters to life. 

Then think back to when both Disneyland and Walt Disney World altered the iconic Disney ride Pirates of the Caribbean to feature main star Johnny Depp, whose character Captain Jack Sparrow had become the face of the franchise.

Disney added multiple animatronics into the attraction with the likeness of Depp, meaning that to add one of their most popular characters into the Parks, Disney had to work with both a real person’s likeness and voice.

Pirates of the Caribbean Johnny Depp

Credit: Disney

This, of course, proved to cause issues when the actor in question became controversial and was involved in a high-profile court case. Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard accused Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean star of domestic abuse, and the two were locked in a multi-million dollar legal battle with Depp claiming defamation. Heard attempted to countersue Depp for $100 million.

After six weeks, Depp won the defamation suit, with the jury awarding Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

This, however, led fans of Johnny Depp to share their outrage that Disney would still use his likeness as Captain Jack Sparrow after he was dropped from the Pirates franchise following Ms. Heard’s claims of domestic abuse. 

Pedro Pascal’s character, in his helmet, does not require his likeness, whilst Depp’s is in multiple Disney Parks and on merchandise. Disney continues to profit from Depp’s likeness as long as the audio-animatronic versions inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions are not removed or replaced, even though the actor has been in the movies.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney

Both Pedro Pascal and Johnny Depp have brought Disney great success and profits in each of their successful franchises, but it seems it was much easier to get Pascal’s likeness into Disneyland than it has been with Johnny Depp’s.

Both Disney actors do like visiting the theme parks, though, with Pedro Pascal seen recently at Disneyland Park with Jon Favreau, as posted by @DAPS_Magic on Twitter:

We can identify Pedro Pascal accompanying Jon Favreau in New Orleans Square for the return of #Fantasmic! at #Disneyland.

In September 2022, Jon Favreau joined Josh D’Amaro on the stage at the D23 fan convention to announce the highly anticipated arrival of Din Djarin and Grogu – fondly called Baby Yoda by fans of The Mandalorian – to the Disneyland Resort.

The arrival of these characters opened a whole galaxy of possibilities, as Guests are able to meet and interact with different characters from the ever-expanding Star Wars universe when they visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort, including Boba Fett and Fennec Shand.

As much as we wish this meant we’d get to see Pedro Pascal walking around Galaxy’s Edge every day, the Mandalore armor makes things a lot easier for Disney Imagineers.

The Mandolarian‘s third season premieres on Disney+ on March 1.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who has worked at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Adventures by Disney! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her husband, an Air Force pilot. Find her children's book at @bear.hug.book