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Johnny Depp is MIA in first look at new 'Pirates of the Caribbean'

The trailer for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."

When "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" is released next year, it will have been six years since Captain Jack Sparrow and company last graced the big screen and nearly 13 years since the franchise debuted in 2003.

On Sunday, Disney released its first look at the fifth "Pirates" film and it's everything a fan could want from the franchise, save for one glaringly obvious absence.

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As the teaser unfolds, audiences are shown a British ship under siege by ghost pirates (probably not the same ghost pirates who have previously plagued the films, but to a certain extent all ghost pirates look the same to me) as the fog rolls in off the sea.

Striding over the deck is a foreboding presence, soon revealed to be Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar, an old nemesis of Jack Sparrow. With the air surrounding them filled with fire particles from the burning ship, he tells a young man to find Sparrow and give him a message: "Death will go straight for him."

Looks good! There's an old nemesis looking for Sparrow played by a man who has crafted a delightful career from playing villains with bad haircuts, a young, seemingly straight-laced lad who will get caught up in Sparrow's hijinks and there's a new crop of ghost pirates.

But where's Johnny?

Though there is a "Wanted" poster for Sparrow, Johnny Depp, the heart and soul of the entire franchise, is missing in action for the entirety of the teaser.

It's possible that it's an artistic choice. Perhaps Disney opted to go the atmospheric route, introducing fans to characters they were unfamiliar with and reminding them of the immersive experience of "Pirates of the Caribbean" films of the past.

Or perhaps the studio is a bit squeamish about going all in on a Depp-led advertising campaign with the accusations of domestic violence levied at the actor by ex-wife Amber Heard so recently.

Regardless, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," directed by newcomers to the franchise Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, is due to set sail May 26, 2017.

Twitter: @midwestspitfire

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