Depp ready to keep sailing as Captain Jack

Johnny Depp said on Saturday there was still plenty of life in Captain Jack Sparrow and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise for future sequels after its fourth instalment premiered at Cannes.

Depp said as long as the screenplays keep coming and his kids keep laughing at his rock-and-roll swashbuckler, he has no plans to lay down his sword.

"With Captain Jack I feel like there's much more to be had, much more fun to be had," the 47-year-old US actor said.

"As long as the stories, the scripts are great and you have directors like Rob Marshall we'll be in good shape," referring to the man at the helm of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides".

"If you're surrounded by such a creative force, I think the possibilities are endless," he said. "As long as the people want to see it, I'm there."

Depp said Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who has a cameo role as Sparrow's father in the film, and the amorous French skunk of Loony Tunes cartoons Pepe Le Pew continued to provide the inspiration for Jack.

"I started out secretly testing characters on (my kids) to see how their reactions would be," he said.

"With my daughter we'd be playing Barbies and I'd try out these voices on her and she just say 'stop'," he joked. "They came to see the movie and I can tell by their reaction if I did alright. I haven't been fired by my kids."

He said that although the four "Pirates" movies had been a global box office juggernaut with ê2.6 billion (1.8 billion euros) in ticket sales, studio executives had found Depp's take on the swashbuckler strange at the start.

"In terms of what I was bringing to the table character-wise, let's say there wasn't a group of Disney upper echelon people who had any enthusiasm for it -- they almost subtitled me," he said.

Asked whether he was nervous about critical reaction, Depp gave a rakish smile.

"I've always feared the critics," he deadpanned. "They really scare me."

He said the cast, which includes for the first time Spanish Oscar winner Penelope Cruz, had worked hard not to lose the spark of the early films.

"We went out of our way to deliver something fresh. We sculpted it for the people with them in mind," he said. "So if they don't like it its their own fault," he joked.

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