We know that a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is coming. We know it’s going to be subtitled Dead Men Tell No Tales, and is expected to reach theaters in 2016. And now we’re starting to hear the grumblings of casting rumors… some that makes sense, and others that are surprising (and more than a little exciting).
Obviously, Johnny Depp is on the hook to reprise his Oscar-nominated role of Capt. Jack Sparrow, which he has played in four Pirates movies dating back to 2003. Today, London’s Daily Mail cites a source close to the production who says that Keith Richards has signed on to once again play Sparrow’s father in the sequel, which will begin filming in October.
The legendary Rolling Stones guitarist appeared in Gore Verbinski’s At World’s End and Rob Marshall’s On Stranger Tides, playing Captain Teague, so bringing him back for Dead Men makes practical sense:
But the rest of the Daily Mail report has us scratching our heads. The publication claims that Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds) "may" play the sequel’s main villain. He would be a ghost named Captain Brand, who is racing Sparrow on a quest to claim The Trident, a valuable (but vague) piece of equipment. Brand has a grudge to settle with Sparrow, because he believes Depp’s infamous pirate turned his brother into a pirate, which led to the innocent man’s death.
The Daily Mail has been known to run with unverified rumors, so take this news with a grain of salt. Richards, like me said, makes sense, as he has been a minor part of the Pirates franchise over the years. He also has said, on record, that he and Depp have talked about the sequel, so we likely can consider him part of the next ensemble.
Waltz would be a wild card. He’s fit a mold established by past Pirates villains. Ian McChane played Blackbeard in On Stranger Tides in 2011, and Geoffrey Rush has made a small fortune playing Barbossa opposite Depp in the various Pirates movies. At the moment, Waltz is busy filming the dark comedy Horrible Bosses 2 for director Sean Anders. And we’ll next see him in the Muppets sequel Muppets Most Wanted. He’d be an excellent fit for a Pirates movie, and could reign in Depp’s camp. But for now, until we hear confirmation from Disney, treat this as a possibility, and hope for the best.