People are always quick to claim entertainment reporters, and reporters in general, have an agenda. In some cases, maybe it’s true, but they aren’t the only ones with an agenda. Take Pirates of the Caribbean writer Terry Rossio. He’s railed against the entertainment reporting industry in the past and to me he’s always seemed quick to cast the first stone, whenever an opportunity presents itself. Take that into account when you read the following, but it’s worth noting that Rossio says those rumors of budget cuts for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides are false.

The budget cut story originated with the LA Times where they published this quote from Disney Chairman Rich Ross, detailing a discussion he had with Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer: “He looked at me and said, 'I will work with you to figure out the economics of the movies going forward because I understand what we are all facing.”

And then there’s this quote from Bruckheimer: “He wants to be mean and lean and make these movies very entertaining but also very cost effective.”

And this quote from director Rob Marshall: “We're all working hard to keep it as lean as possible.... It's a tricky time in the economy. You can't be insane.”

The Times did the math and said this all added up to a more cost-conscious budget for Pirates of the Caribbean 4, and reading those quotes that’s probably the conclusion I’d have reached too. Rossio not only reaches a different conclusion but seems to be intimating that they misused the quotes on his blog here. Yet even though he’s sure the LA Times story is a pack of lies, he kind of admits that he doesn’t actually know what Pirates of the Caribbean 4’s budget will be. He says “My guess is the budget on P4 will be higher than P1.”

Choose your side, right now I’m not sure who to believe.

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