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It's still only 2013, but Disney is already looking for into the future and shuffling around its summer 2015 schedule. Just last night we learned that the studio has moved Edgar Wright's Ant-Man from its original November 6, 2015 release date to July 31, 2015, and today there's news that they've taken Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales off the calendar completely. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has been "delayed beyond its planned summer 2015 release date", with its production start date pushed back.
The reasoning behind the delay is reportedly issues with the script, which the trade surmises could have something to do with the performance of Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger (a project connected to the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel through star Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer) earlier this summer. In a summer filled with a surprising number of flops, Lone Ranger was perhaps the most notorious, managing to make only $88 million at the domestic box office on an excessively large $215 million reported budget. It's possible that the studio wants to be more careful with the script this time around so that they can avoid another bloated disaster. This is the second story we've heard recently tying the two films together with a negative connotation, as it was reported early last month that the failure of Lone Ranger would reduce the budget of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Said Disney production president Sean Bailey in a statement, according to Deadline, "Like audiences around the globe, we have high expectations for Jack Sparrow’s next adventure and we want to have all the right elements in place, We’re not there yet and we want to make sure this project is everything these wonderful characters and of course the fans deserve.”
Another possible explanation for the shift could be that Disney's 2015 summer schedule is already jam packed. Not only does the studio have the aforementioned Ant-Man coming out at the end of July, they will also be releasing Joss Whedon's The Avengers: The Age of Ultron, J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII, and Pixar's Inside Out that same season. And even if they're not worried about stepping on their own toes, there's still the ridiculous amount of competition that they will have to deal with from titles like Zack Snyder's Batman/Superman movie, Alan Taylor's Terminator reboot, Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic Park 4, Roland Emmerich's Independence Day 2 and more. Taking Pirates out of that equation could improve its box office potential.
Depp is currently the only actor attached, though Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are set to helm based off a screenplay by Jeff Nathanson (Tower Heist, The Terminal, Speed 2: Cruise Control). In their report, Deadline adds that production will now likely start next February and that there's a possibility that the film could wind up on the summer 2016 release calendar. We'll keep you updated as we learn more.