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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides may have been savaged by critics, but it continues to make millions at the box office both in the United States and around the world. The fourth franchise entry may end up making even more money than the third movie, and of course it’s no secret that Disney wants more of them. The problem remains Johnny Depp who, somewhere deep inside him, must still have some of that artist who refused to settle for sell-out projects. You know, that guy he was back before Captain Jack.
A few weeks ago Depp came out and talked about his desire to space these Pirates movies out a bit. He’s still not signed for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean, and from what we hear, neither is On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall. There’s so much money involved no one wants to stop making them, but at the same time they feel like they need a shot of creativity if they're going to keep going. Depp is determined to make sure they space them out and take their time with them, if they keep going. That could be why Marshall and Depp have since signed up to do Thin Man together. The fact that they’re determined to do that film is making it even harder for Disney to get them confirmed for Pirates 5.
Disney wants Marshall to direct Pirates 5, in fact they’ve had an offer out to him since January, but since there’s been no movement we’ve heard from our sources that the studio is starting to at least consider other alternatives.
Our most reliable sources tell us that their dream choice for the Pirates of the Caribbean 5 directing job is Tim Burton. There was reason to believe they wanted him for the fourth movie too, and just couldn’t get him. Odds that they’ll get him now are pretty slim. We’ve heard they’re also tossing around names like Shawn Levy, Sam Raimi, Chris Weitz, and Alfonso Cuaron.
Shawn Levy is the guy who directed those more fun than they ought to be Night at the Museum movies, and seems kind of like the perfect choice for the overly CGI, slightly dumbed down thing these movies have become. Chris Weitz directed The Golden Compass and also has some experience in overly CGI fantasy worlds. He also directed a Twilight movie which to me suggests you can get him to do anything if you throw him enough money.
Raimi and Cuaron though, seem like every bit as much of a long shot as Burton. Cuaron did a Harry Potter movie, the best Harry Potter movie, but he’s an auteur with high standards and Children of Men is more his style. Raimi is Raimi and after freeing himself from Spidey it’s hard to imagine him jumping mid-stream into someone else’s franchise. Bringing in someone like Raimi, Cuaron, or Burton might be just about the only thing that could make this franchise interesting again, but there’s no way it’s happening. Still, those names are on Disney’s wish list.
We’ll see where it goes, should Rob Marshall choose not to sign on the dotted line. Or maybe Johnny Depp will bow out entirely, which means the end of the Pirates series and makes any discussion of where they’ll go next with it, a waste of time. It’s all up to him.