Pirates of the Caribbean 5, which may or may not hold onto the previously-announced Dead Men Tell No Tales subtitle, has taken one step closer to becoming a reality, now that it has an official release date… again. The film was once scheduled to hit theaters in July 2015, but for reasons – like, the need for additional development time and budget trimming in response to Disney’s financial loss on Lone Ranger – it was instead put back on the shelf, with tentative plans for the film to arrive in Summer 2016 instead.

So why, then, is Johnny Depp’s (Captain) Jack Sparrow’s next adventure now not due for arrival until Summer 2017? Well, for one, after the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie was delayed, Depp filled up the empty space in his schedule with the gangster biopic Black Mass (which is currently filming), and it looks as though he’ll jump right into making Alice in Wonderland 2 for Disney soon after the former project completes production.

On a related note, with the Alice sequel already set to open during the 2016 Summer Movie Season, it makes sense that the Mouse House would instead save its other developing Depp-led tentpole for another summer – even if PotC 5 directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg had been able to make a 2016 date, that is. As it stands, the filmmakers (who made a name for themselves with the acclaimed indie sailing drama Kon-Tiki back in 2012) are currently preparing to begin shooting the next Pirates adventure during the first half of 2015 – according to producer Jerry Bruckheimer, anyway.

Disney now intends to release Pirates of the Caribbean 5 in theaters on July 7th, 2017, to be exact, which is currently not being claimed for any other major feature; the 2017 Fourth of July holiday frame will undoubtedly become more crowded, though, over the next couple years. For now, however, Captain Jack’s new movie will open a week after Despicable Me 3 – which may draw away moviegoing families – and one week before the sequel to next year’s Fantastic Four movie reboot is currently due for arrival.

As much as the Pirates franchise has suffered from increasing amounts of creative fatigue with just about every new installment, these films remain extremely profitable (the fourth movie, On Stranger Tides, grossed over $1 billion worldwide) – hence, Disney isn’t giving up on the brand quite yet. Then again, as has been discussed in the past by the Screen Rant Underground Podcast team, there is still room for further, interesting, exploration of the Pirates universe that could help to get more people excited about seeing this property live another day.

So who knows – maybe PotC 5 will turn out to be the Fast Five of the Pirates franchise. We can dream, right?

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 opens in U.S. theaters on July 7th, 2017.

Source: Walt Disney Pictures