Johnny Depp will receive £21 million for making the new `Pirates of the Caribbean`
The 46-year-old star - who plays the eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow in the movie franchise - is returning for the fourth installment and is set to become Hollywood`s highest-paid actor, topping the likes of Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks, with the huge pay day.
The `Sleepy Hollow` actor is guaranteed the £21million as a minimum for `Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides`, due for release in the 2011, and could receive even more should it be a huge box-office hit.
Disney bosses are paying Depp such a high fee because his co-stars from the previous three movies, Keira Knightley, 24, and 32-year-old Orlando Bloom, have dropped out.
Geoffrey Rush will once again play Captain Barbossa, while Penelope Cruz is rumoured to be in line to take the female lead.
Depp recently vowed to save Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage from financial ruin after because of a massive unpaid tax bill.
The star pledged to support the `Con Air` actor through his plight because of the assistance he gave him when he was first trying to make it in Hollywood.
A source said: "Johnny feels he owes his career to Nicolas and now wants to repay him - if Nicolas agrees."