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When Rob Marshall was announced as the director of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, it confused pretty much everyone, and you had to wonder what the behind-the-scenes negotiations were like to wind up with Marshall in the director's chair. As it turns out, those negotiations at one point went past Albert and Allen Hughes, the director brothers with The Book of Eli, their first film in nearly a decade, coming out this month.

"That right there we had to entertain for a minute, one, because it came from Johnny and, two, because it came from Johnny," Allen told MTV. "Johnny is one of the most lovely people you could encounter in this godforsaken business, and if he asked us to jump through fire, we'd do it."

But the directors, who also made Meance II Society and Dead Presidents, even admitted to themselves that they weren't the most obvious choices to replace Gore Verbinski. "We were thinking, 'We're not those guys, but if Johnny wants us to do it, we'll talk to Johnny. He's cool.' We're seriously going to consider anything he says to us," Albert said.

As it turned out, it was Book of Eli that wound up getting in the way-- they were still finishing up post-production on the project when Pirates production would have needed to begin. "It's like cheating on your woman to go, 'Oh, let's go start dating someone else," Allen explained. "That wasn't gonna happen. But it was so much appreciated to be in a room with Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny and be talking about that."

The conversation even ranged over to Depp's other big Disney project, The Lone Ranger, before they turned that one down as well. I haven't seen Book of Eli, but I get the feeling it won't exactly be evidence that the Hughes really should have taken Pirates after all. What's interesting to learn, though, is that Disney went in all kinds of crazy directions to find their new director-- and they gave Johnny Depp a lot of power in the process as well. What that means for Marshall's performance, nobody knows, but it's pretty evident that the fourth Pirates film won't just be trying to ape Verbinski's style. It'll be its own thing, whether that's a good thing or not.

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