While the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was once a shining jewel in the treasure chest that is Disney’s collection of properties, those glory days are gone. The most recent entry, 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales, was met with mostly negative critical reception and collected a little under $795 million worldwide, making it the second-lowest performing Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
As a result, it was reported last year that Disney was putting a Pirates of the Caribbean reboot into the works, although the original writers, Deadpool duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, left the project back in February. Eight months later, word’s come in from The Hollywood Reporter that new writers have been tapped to steer this ship: Ted Elliot and Craig Mazin.
Well, maybe ‘new’ isn’t quite the right term to describe Ted Elliot, as he’s no stranger to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, having co-written all of the previous films with then-partner Terry Rossio except Dead Men Tell No Tales. But this will be Craig Mazin’s first time working with the property, and if the name doesn’t ring a bell, you probably some of the entries on his resume, including the latter two Hangover movies, The Huntsman: Winter’s War and the HBO series Chernobyl.
Developing a movie can be tricky, so it’s hard to say if Ted Elliot and Craig Mazin will stick around for the entirety of the Pirates of the Caribbean reboot writing process, or if they’ll follow in Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s footsteps and eventually exit. But for now, it’s Elliot and Mazin’s job to figure out what to take Pirates of the Caribbean in this new era.
When the development of the reboot was initially announced, it wasn’t said if this would be a true reboot, i.e. a Pirates of the Caribbean movie that ignores all the events of the previous five movies, or if it would be more of a spinoff/relaunch, i.e. existing in the established Pirates of the Caribbean universe, but off doing its own thing. That still hasn’t been clarified, although either way, it will not see the return of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow.
Instead, it’s been rumored that the new lead character will be Redd, a female pirate who’s part of the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride. However, this rumor emerged a little after the news of the Pirates of the Caribbean reboot first hit, so even if Redd was going to be included, who’s to say that’ll still be the case when Ted Elliot and Craig Mazin start putting pen to paper.
Regardless, rather than move forward with a traditional Pirates of the Caribbean 6, as was initially considered, Disney’s looking to give this franchise a fresh start. It’s been 16 years since Curse of the Black Pearl came out, and we’ll just have to wait and see if Ted Elliot and Craig Mazin can recapture the same magic that first movie had for the Mouse House or not.