The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean faced choppy waters. Johnny Depp had expressed interest in the sequel (because: money), but these movies aren’t exactly indie dramas shot with hand-held cameras. There are a lot of moving pieces that have to click into place before a Pirates movie can set sail, and last night, a number of crucial moves occurred that all but guaranteed another high-seas adventure for Capt. Jack Sparrow.

Despite the fact that we reported on a creative standstill regarding Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales back in April, the wheels are spinning once again on Pirates 5, which wants to begin filming in early 2015. Variety reports that Australia’s federal government has agreed to meet some of the financial incentives requested by Disney to ensure that Pirates 5 films in the land down under. Initially, this money was supposed to go to David Fincher’s adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But that project has been shelved now that Fincher has moved on (for the moment), so Disney petitioned to allocate the funds over to Pirates 5.

Which means Capt. Jack Sparrow should be back in business again.

The trade notes that Australia’s government didn’t meet all of the financial requests made by Disney, and that there is a possibility the production could film elsewhere. Variety says studio reps are investigating a location in Mexico where James Cameron filmed Titanic, because of the area’s ability to film in water-logged conditions.

But it is sounding like Australia has done enough to meet the needs of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales so that the sequel can begin filming in 2015 and race to meet its announced release date of July 7, 2017.

So what do we know about the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie? Jeff Nathanson and Terry Rosio each are handling parts of the screenplay duties, and it will be directed by Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. The "moving parts" I discussed earlier involve casting. For a while, Pirates 5 had its hooks into Christoph Waltz as a potential villain. But every time that the production had to press the massive "pause" button, they likely lost Waltz to yet another project. Not that the sails appear to be up and the production appears to be moving, does this mean that Waltz will chew salt-water-infused scenery with the likes of Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush?



We’ll continue to track the sequel’s progress, but for the moment, it seems like David Fincher’s loss is Johnny Depp’s (and Australia’s) gain.

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