Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival press conference for sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Depp praised Bruckheimer and original Pirates director Gore Verbinski for backing his idiosyncratic portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow.
He said: "The only reason that I'm still around is because I was so supported by, first and foremost Jerry Bruckheimer, and the director on the first one, Gore Verbinski, in terms of what I was bringing to the table character-wise.
Depp noted that his interpretation of the pirate failed to generate much positive feedback from studio executives during the making of the first movie, adding: "There wasn't a group of Disney upper echelon who had any enthusiasm whatsoever for what I was doing. They almost subtitled me!"
Asked if he had any interest in producing future instalments of the Pirates franchise, the actor replied: "There's no way in the world, Jerry Bruckheimer is the only one who can produce. I would have exploded within the first five minutes of Pirates 1 had I had any sort of investment like he does. He's the only man for the job, for sure. He's a wizard."
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will open in cinemas worldwide next week.
> Pirates of the Caribbean Cannes review
> Gallery: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
> Cannes Film Festival complete coverage
Watch the stars of Pirates of the Caribbean discuss Jack Sparrow with DS below: