(BANG) -

Johnny Depp is to earn $61 million for the fourth 'Pirates of the Caribbean' film.

The staggering sum is the largest upfront payment in film history and will see Johnny, 45, move to the top of Hollywood's rich list - overtaking Will Smith - when he reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow.

A source said: "It's a hell of a lot of money for one movie but there's only one man who can play Captain Jack Sparrow - and that's Johnny Depp.

"Pirates just wouldn't be the same without him, so they were more than willing to smash the record books to land Depp again. He's been the star of the show every time."

Earlier this year, Will was named the highest earning actor in Hollywood by Forbes magazine after he grossed $76 million in one year.

However, Johnny's new deal will see his earnings soar to $137 million.

The source added: "He's laughing all the way to the bank. Not only is he probably the biggest heartthrob in Hollywood, he's now going to be the richest."

Johnny's co-stars in the first three films in the franchise, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, are unlikely to appear in the latest installment.

(C) BANG Media International

This is just batshit CRAZY! I like Johnny Depp, I loved the Pirates movies. But 61 million dollars for one movie?! I guess that explains why Depp was schilling so hard for Disney at a press confrence about a week ago when they announced he'd signed for Pirates 4, Alice In Wonderland, the Lone Ranger, and I think some other movie. Depp is in deep with Disney and is beyond rich. WAYYY beyond rich. I can only imagine the negotiations:
Disney: Okay Johnny, how about Pirates 4?
JD: I don't want to do it.
Disney: Yeah, neither did Keira and Orlando. Tell you what, you can have their money too, 35 million?
JD: I don't want to do it.
Disney: Ha ha, Johnny, you're a suave player, aren't you? Well, we'll go as high as 40 million. Whaddaya say Johnny-boy? 40 million buys a lot of crepes!
JD: I don't want to do it.
Disney: (laughs nervously) OK, ok... we can give you 45. I didn't want to go that high, but you're worth it John.
JD: I don't want to do it.
Disney:...(makes a phone call)
Disney: Johnny, here's what we're willing to do, because it's you, and you're such a big part of the Disney family, we'll give you 48 million dollars to dance around in a pirate costume for 3 months. But you're our dancing pirate matey, and don't you forget it.
JD: I don't want to do it.
Disney: 49?
JD: I don't want to do it.
Disney: 50?(sweating )
JD: I don't want to do it. Not for 50 million dollars, not for 60 million dollars.
Disney: 61?
JD: Done.
Grabs Vanessa Paradis by the waist and swings away on a rope, all the way back to his chateau in France.
Disney: What just happened?