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A Fifth PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN Appears To Be Ramping Up!! It Has A Writer Now, And A Possible Director!!

Merrick here...

In the early days of the project, from the outside looking in at least, it felt like Disney's forthcoming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES would be something of a one-off.  Nothing implicitly stated as much, and no particular bit of info ruled out further adventures with Captain Jack & Co.  It was just a vibe - reinforced as recently as a few months ago by a time tested, highly trustworthy source who told me, in no uncertain terms, that ON STRANGER TIDES could well be the last POTC movie made for the big screen.   

What a difference a few months make, I guess. And how  that tone has changed.  

In early December we got word that consideration was being given to filming theoretical fifth and sixth installments in the franchise back-to-back.  Then, a day or two ago, Johnny Depp spoke openly and positively about returning as Jack Sparrow for further jaunts -  "As long as we can put all the puzzle pieces together..." - in THIS piece over at Entertainment Weekly.  And now, Deadline says that Terry Rossio has closed a deal to write a fifth PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN adventure.  While no reference to the conjectured sixth installment is made, the article does indicate that movement is already underway to return ON STRANGER TIDES director Rob Marshall for the next picture.  

Rossio, who scripted all previous POTC films with longtime cohort Ted Elliot.  appears to be tackling number 5 solo at this time.  An interesting and noteworthy development - wonder where that'll lead?  

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Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Who was responsible for the first one being fun?

    by Chewtoy

    While the next two were buried in their own overblown mythology?

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Maybe see how the 4th one does first? I dunno...

    by MattmanReturns

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:27 p.m. CST

    I thought Rosio and Elliot always work together.

    by Mahaloth

    Even on non-Pirates scripts. Interesting.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Will This Series Never End

    by eck_iii

    The last two were mostly unwatchable. The new installment looks to be worse.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Huge Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio fan

    by theMovesMusic

    They have a phenomenal screenwriting website, they had a great script for Gaiman's "Sandman" that never got produced. Glad one of them is still on it.

  • Maybe somehow he'll be frozen or time-jumped into the future, and through some mix-up, he'll captain a spaceship into 'The Final Frontier.' Though he'll be upset when he finds that all alcohol has been reduced to easy-to-swallow pills. Btw, someone wonders why the last 2 were kind of bad? One theory was that the shift of the story's focal point changed, how some felt that the first film was us following Elizabeth. Then, Jack Sparrow who was supposed to be a supporting character got such high marks, that suddenly he became the big focal point of the next 2. I haven't really been able to like the sequels, and can basically just 'tolerate' the first one for all its over-the-top Jerry Bruckheimer pandering.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Horrible series of films

    by Mark

    Just horrible.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    There's a 4th?

    by A G

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Dwarves. These movies need dwarves.

    by xevoid

    because all the best movies feature dwarves as main characters. LOTR, Willow, Time Bandits...

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:42 p.m. CST

    xevoid — +2 Points for Willow

    by hitchhiker42

    Warwick Davis always can use work. Shoehorn him in as a pirate.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:43 p.m. CST

    wheres my dragon ball evolution squeal

    by ORIONgods

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    xevoid, if you're dwarf theory is correct...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...why the decline in fortunes for Tom Cruise movies lately?

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by richievanderlow

    I loved the first one. Lost interest after the second one. Saw the third one on HBO or something and thought they had gotten incredibly stupid.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:58 p.m. CST

    I didn't wonder why the last two were bad...

    by Chewtoy

    ... I wondered who was responsible for the fun of the first episode that was completely abandoned in the two sequels. The first film had a pretty straightforward story. There was a bit of fantasy with cursed gold turning the pirates into undead but that was it... And even the cursed gold wasn't that complicated: Aztecs cursed it to punish Europeans for their greed, anyone who takes it becomes the undead who can no longer take in the pleasures of life until every last piece of it is returned. Everything that happens with the characters is readily understandable as well... there's no great exposition needed to work out who is doing what or why. But the next two films were nothing but random mythology that had no logical reasoning behind it. Davey Jones had cut out his heart and put it in a chest because he loved the goddess Calypso who was cast into human form by the council of pirate kings. Every bit of that mythology had it's own branching bit of mythology, be it deals with Jones and becoming a part of his crew, or challenges by dice game, or standing on dry land once every decade, or becoming half-fish, or traveling to the afterlife or the pirate laws and songs that bring them together and on and on and on... there was no honest, human motivation in the story at all. It was all one long trail of exposition. The first was entirely about characters wanting gold, a girl, a ship, to be rid of a curse, and just wanting adventure. I still have no idea at all what the convoluted mess that followed was supposed to be about... and I have trouble believing that it was honestly created by exactly the same team that made the sequels. However, perhaps like the Wachowskis, they just got way too caught up in their own heads and totally lost track of what was appealing about their first big hit.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:07 p.m. CST

    First one good, 2 and 3 bit...

    by MisterBlue

    similar to Indiana Jones and the Bond films, the early/first take themselves seriously in their own established universe, then they slide into outlandishness and silliness. Bond they pulled back several times tho. maybe PotC can figure out that they went too far in the 2nd and especially the 3rd, which was one o the worst things I've ever watched in a theater, worse than Spidey 3 for me -

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:10 p.m. CST

    This is a cow that's going to be giving milk for a LONG time

    by WriteForTheEdit

    The milk has soured, but people seem to keep lapping it up, so grab those udders, Disney, and keep yankin'!!!

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Bring it!

    by GreatGonzo

    I'll be the lone positive voice around here and say... bring it on! I love Depp's Sparrow and I love this series. Yeah, the two sequels were overblown but "lost the fun"? Really? I thought they were a blast! Great action, great effects, great characters (Davy Jones was awesome). I guess it was Rossio and Elliot's fault for trusting the audience to be smart enough to follow the story. Jeez people. It least these are huge blockbusters that have a brain in them. If you don't get it, I have a word of advice: pay attention!

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    ON STRANGER TIDES is a great book

    by palimpsest

    Bit of a shame they're turning it into one of these movies.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    These movies are like seeing Paris Hilton nude...

    by ConeSpinner

    Can't wait to see it the first time....then it just keeps happening even though you don't give a damn

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Just one serious question..

    by Nuck81

    Other than money.....Why?

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    So we can make 6 of these pieces of shit...

    by Double M

    but the Powers That Be can't seem to get it together to make a Buffy/Angel movie with the real cast? WTF Hollywood?! Y'all suck.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Put me in the camp that loved the first film, but...

    by rbatty024

    hated the second two. Although, I will say that Depp still kicked ass even in the horrible sequels. He was one of the few good things about 2 and 3. That being said, I do like the world they have created, if only they could inhabit that space with more stories that were as good as the first movie.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Jack Sparrow isn't even a pirate

    by wintocha67

    I don't know what he is, but he's not a bloody pirate. Even Han Solo was some kind of criminal but Captain Jack Sparrow is just what, not even an Indian Jones type adventurer, not even a COC/X-Files/??? type investigator into the unknown, he's just a boat captain who gets mixed up in crazy supernatural phenomena.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:28 p.m. CST

    with the redesigning of the site ...

    by dmbfreak

    did you grammar go down as well?

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Self proclaimed fan of all three...

    by BlaGyver

    Though I fully understand why people didn't like the third. I think the biggest problem with the second one is that it is a little much, and whether or not it's worth the time entirely hinged on how three played out. I absolutely LOATHED the third when I first saw it, but it becomes more tolerable upon multiple viewings. The biggest issue I personally have with the second two is that they sort of reverse Jack's character. In the first, he's a great pirate masquerading as a dumbass. All the seemingly awful decisions are all means to an end which ultimately plays out exactly as he's planned it the whole time. In the second two, he's a dumbass masquerading as a great pirate. Which kind of bums me out. What made him so likeable to me in the first one was that he really was absolutely brilliant. That disappears in the sequels.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:32 p.m. CST

    why ever stop? they're money making machines

    by cgih8r

    It's a rich world that audiences love escaping to. The story doesn't even have to be comprehensible.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Also, my only concern with the fourth

    by BlaGyver

    Is that, while casting aside Will and Elizabeth who got really boring really fast, they seem to have replaced them with a NEW pointless love story (I'm referring to the two younger kids in the trailers). Half the reason I was so excited about this movie is that it was made out to be a story about Jack Sparrow and his crew.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I love the series.

    by JacksParasites

    I'll even go as far as to call the POTC series is the best action/adventure series since the Indiana Jones series. To quote screenwriter and professor William Martell: "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN is wall-to-wall character arc. Look at Will (or any other character - even the villain Barbosa) at the beginning of the story and compare that to who they are at the end of the story - completely different people! Now track back and find all of those difficult decisions they made in order to change from what they were to what they are. Will goes from good man to pirate... and this character is complex enough that he is *both* an good man and a pirate simultaneously. Even the villain is a fully developed three dimensional character - I get misty eyed when Barbosa talks about losing his ability to taste an apple in one scene... and if you just follow the Barbosa-apple thing, it's amazingly well done. The villain's emotional journey in the story is fleshed out, and his back story is fleshed out, and he has goals and desires and regrets and all of the other things you probably don't expect to find in a big blockbuster movie. All of the characters have depth in this film... and it's fast paced and exciting and things explode. It's the ultimate summer tentpole movie - spawned two sequels and maybe three - and yet it has complex characters who make one difficult decision after another which will test their character and expose their character and explore their character." All 3 films so far have been excellent and my only worry is whether Jack, who's normally a secondary character, can carry a whole film without the two previously established leads. But otherwise, I see no reason to bitch about the franchise other than the internet talkbackers need to bitch and complain about everything.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Pirates of the Caribbean 5: The Beating of the Dead Seahorse

    by DonnyUnitas

    See what I did there?

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Seems I'm the only one who loved these flicks, why make more?

    by caseyaramian

    I know I am the ONLY one who will miss Will&Liz, but hey their story is told. Not looking forward to Cruz. About Jack, yeah in DMC he seemed very buffoonish, even sleazy, but made up for it in AWE. The final act was chock full of Jack's badassery. The deaths of Becket, Jones, and Will are sights to behold.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 2:47 p.m. CST

    "did you grammar go down as well?"

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Note to anyone who would criticize the grammatical skills of another: use excellent grammar when doing so. Just a helpful tip.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST


    by doom master

    JOHNNY DEPP...YOU ARE A SELL OUT! Please stop. Sincerely, an X-Fan

  • ...because they are wall-to-wall exposition the whole way through. They spoon feed you the reason the characters are doing whatever they're doing because they have to... there's no logic to it. It's like somebody's Dungeons & Dragons campaign put on film. "In order to defeat the evil sorceress, you must first travel to the ice caves and find the orb of wisdom, because only that will lead you to the gateway to the afterlife where you can collect the last true heir to the royal line who will be able to unite the fellowship of the shield who can undo the curse they laid upon the forge of doom, yada yada yada." Everyone is doing things because that's what the story says they have to do next. It's completely bullshit inorganic plot. The first movie didn't need to make up bedtime stories to justify every plot point. Hell, with an extraordinarily minimal rewrite you could do the entire story without any supernatural elements at all, because everyone took courses of action that made logical sense. Pirates looking for treasure kidnap a girl, her would-be lover teams up with the betrayed former pirate captain to hunt them down, her other would-be suitor leads the British Navy in a hunt for them as well. The plot is quite cleverly constructed and well told, and the fact that they are undead pirates is a cool twist on top of it. I'm hopeful that since this next one is based on a (formerly unrelated) novel that it'll have some of the solid plot structure of the original and not the excesses of the sequels.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 4:02 p.m. CST

    I think ppl forget that it's intended as a "family" film

    by VAwitch

    Thus you kinda need the exposition for the younger audience members. But eh- I go for a fun film. Though as SciFi & fantasy seem to be on a come back, due in part to PotC 1, as well as comic-films coming back in some glory... PotC 4+ is gonna have some competition for audience dollars. Cuz you just KNOW that P4+ is gonna be in 3D.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Love this series

    by CMBat

    One was awesome for just...everything. Great movie, still fun to watch. Two, after the little foray on the island to get things started, was a terrific film, I think even stronger than the first in many ways, though certainly "settled in." Three was not a good movie. It had a decent start and some of the later stuff was fine, and they wrapped it up, but getting Sparrow back from the dead and the Council convening were awful. I'm sure Depp didn't want to end it that way, and I have heard from some sources that the Fourth is much better. Disney seems to know that this time, and that's probably where the scripting, at least, for 5 is coming from. If 4 doesn't hit at the box office, 5 will never get behind the lens.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    How I Became The Most Overrated Actor in Hollywood, by Johnny Depp

    by ConeSpinner

    Step #1: Show some serious potential as an actor with chops who wisely chooses his films, such as Cry-Baby, What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Ed Wood Step #2: Elevate to stardom thanks to previously mentioned films plus a career-maker in Edward Scissorhands. Step #3: Churn out a slew of mediocre/subpar/tepid films simply for the payday (Nick of Time, The Ninth Gate, The Astronaut's Wife) Step #4: Mix in solid/well-made films (Blow, Secret Window, Chocolat) Step #5: Never, EVER turn down a Tim Burton role, whether the film is great (Sweeney Todd), mediocre (Sleepy Hollow) or downright awful and spits in the face of the original (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Alice in Wonderland) Step #6: Become a complete sell-out and recycle your lame pirate role in 4 (and counting) movies just to receive a big paycheck

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Hell yeah I'll see as many as they pump out

    by D.Vader

    As long as they remain fun adventure films with kooky characters and supernatural creatures. I'll be there.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Wow so much hate for these..

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    I love these films, and easily place them in some of the top trilogies of all time.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    @ lao_che_air_freight

    by GreatGonzo

    I know, right?!?!? But that hate seems to be pretty AICN exclusive. Comments on other sites reporting this news have been much more excited and positive about more Pirate adventures. This is one of my favorite trilogies as well so I'm in!

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 7:34 p.m. CST

    I really like the PotC characters, the world, the design.

    by RandySavage

    Each of the films has its flaws (I like them all, still), but I really enjoy the quasi history-fantasy mythos that these characters inhabit. In many ways I equate this series to Indiana Jones, and just as I wish there were 2 or 3 more Indy films made back in the 80s/90s when Ford, Lucas & Spielberg were in their prime, I welcome more PotC pics while Depp and the other players are still in their prime.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Holy shit, we just had four positive comments in a row.

    by RandySavage

    That has to be a record of some kind.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 7:46 p.m. CST

    well let's break that trend then

    by doom master

    fuck this movie and fuck the 5th one, too.,

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Conespinner re Johnny Depp

    by mikeaz123

    Sounds like that could be Robert DeNiro's career too.

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 12:51 a.m. CST

    FUCK the haters...

    by DarthMusashi2112

    go back into your parents basement and let us grownups enjoy our movies...we were promised fun and adventure with the POTC movies and that's what we got...go masturbate over your art house twit flicks and we'll have the fun.

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Like the movies and I like that they're making more

    by Jaka

    The third one lost it's way a bit, but the fourth movie must be pretty strong if they're already pushing ahead with the fifth (and presumably sixth) installment. I don't really understand why people hate on these movies so much. They're just good pirate adventures. They don't have to be the most brilliant things to ever make it to the screen. And with them making so many of them they feel like a throwback to the time of serials. I think it's cool. I mean, how many of us would have loved to get six Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies in the same time frame?

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Don't hate them, but the first had a well-oiled

    by Dennis_Moore

    plot and pace, which the others should have had.

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 9:07 a.m. CST

    If it's a good script, I'm on board

    by FeralAngel

    "On board" heheh see what I did there? Anyway, love the Pirates as a movie concept, loved the first film, still like Depp, so I'm hopeful about these further adventures of Capt. Sparrow. I read somewhere that Disney changed its mind about no further sequels after seeing portions of "Stranger Tides", so that sounds portentous. I really want a fun movie with adventures and great characters and whizbang effects and a few laughs. Things that Hollywood has trouble combining wll within the same film. So we'll see. Full steam ahead, Cap'n!

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 9:08 a.m. CST

    make that "all within the same film"

    by FeralAngel


  • Jan. 15, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    ROB MARSHALL BLOWS..he's never made a good film.

    by FleshMachine

    Chicago? crap (and i worked on it!). Geisha? a fucking waste of a great novel. the 1st 3 grew on me..but even this trailer looks utterly boring.

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 2:14 p.m. CST

    they were enjoyable in theaters

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    ditto what fleshmachine said

    by stereochad

    The trailer for this movie presents action (staging) that appears rote & dialogue that sounds uninspired. Looks flacid & humorless. Does not bode well for the actual movie when they can't even extract 90 seconds of appealing material out of it. <br><br> That is all.

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 11:19 p.m. CST


    by ryleycampbell1983

    Jesus Christ...does anyone like anything anymore? I mean its easy to slam a 4th, 5th and 6th Pirates movie...the second and third werent too great...but the first one was WAY better than anyone expected...and it was pretty entertaining in the theater...I guess its just cool to say "everything fucking sucks"??

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Johnny Depp

    by ryleycampbell1983

    And we're supposed to be pissed at Johnny Depp for making money and being successful? Who here would say no to $15-20 million?? "Hey we want you to make some fun's $20 million...." "Go fuck yourself Disney....i'm going to make some Tim Burton shit that nobody on Aint it Cool will like anyway..."

  • As long as these franchises make money, they'll keep churning them out, even if it means replacing all the players involved. Just look at Bond, Batman, Spider-man... Even Bourne and Mad Max are being recast. Who's next? Indy? Rocky?

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 12:14 a.m. CST


    by catlettuce4

    I'm all for it as long as they are being constructed as individual adventures of Jack Sparrow and not some "Lord of the Rings with pirates" like the other sequels. If they make one continuous "epic" across three films again, I'm out. No interest in that whatsoever!

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 12:19 a.m. CST

    And by the way...

    by catlettuce4

    I loved the creatures in the second, and a lot of the humor, but yes it became exposition city, and the third movie was purely a case of them having to tie up all the crazy plot threads they forced into it (still liked the whirlpool ship battle though.) Stand alone films are the way to go, with each being a fun, concise adventure story with it's own characters that don't carry over.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:47 a.m. CST


    by Liminal

    Soulless, charmless, boring, marketer devised, ultra commercial vomit. I know this because I have seen all of them so far, but in my defence, One must know evil in order to denounce it. And with all the starving children in the world! Later! Liminal

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 9:38 a.m. CST

    I think they make these movies just so that Johnny Depp can...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...have a little fun being silly between the movies where he has to be terribly serious and emo.