Future ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Sequels Will Be Standalone Stories

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 23rd, 2013 at 3:14 pm,

pirates of the caribbean jack sparrow1 Future Pirates of the Caribbean Sequels Will Be Standalone Stories

Walt Disney Pictures recognized early on that they had a lucrative franchise opportunity with Pirates of the Caribbean. After the success of the original film, it was determined that the second and third installments would be shot back-to-back for logistical reasons.

Screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio realized they had a choice to make regarding which direction to steer the sequels in – should they craft standalone adventures, or retroactively turn The Curse of the Black Pearl into the first chapter in a trilogy?

Since the studio was enthusiastic about having the majority of the ensemble cast return, Elliot & Rossio felt that it would be easier to create an interconnected mythology based on elements from the original Pirates of the Caribbean rather than branch the sequels off into uncharted waters. For many fans, the problems with Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End are largely tied to that decision.

The release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is now right around the corner and one aspect of the new film that’s continually being emphasized is the standalone nature of its narrative. The latest trailer seemed to confirm that this is a back-t0-basics approach that streamlines the cast, maintains a tighter focus, and has more in common with the overall tone of the original film.

According to USA Today, producer Jerry Bruckheimer has revealed that any future Pirates of the Caribbean sequels will employ the same strategy. He was at CinemaCon earlier this week showing footage from On Stranger Tides and discussing the film alongside director Rob Marshall. After their presentation, Bruckheimer indicated that breaking free from the muddled continuity of past entries has already been met with a positive response at test screenings:

“The audience told us what they loved about it is that it was fresh, it was new, it was a whole new story … So that will carry over into the next one, too, to give it something fresh and different. As long as the audience embraces this one, we’ll certainly try to make another one. It’s really up to Johnny [Depp]. He loves the character.”

Terry Rossio has already started working on the script for a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean and although it’s been suggested that On Stranger Tides is intended to kick off a new trilogy, it sounds like what we’ll really be seeing are the continuing adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow – an approach they probably should have taken from the get-go.

What’s interesting is that although Depp definitely stole the spotlight in The Curse of the Black Pearl, Sparrow was written more like the Han Solo to Will Turner’s Luke. I actually enjoyed him in that capacity and as much as I love the character, one of the things that bothered me most about the sequels was the way the whole universe started to revolve around Jack.

Many have expressed that they’ve had enough of Depp’s Sparrow-shtick, but the Indiana Jones and James Bond franchises have proven that even predominantly static main characters can still be engaging – I think it’s just a matter of dialing back a little bit on his theatrics. Sparrow was amusing in The Curse of the Black Pearl, but he wasn’t a cartoon.

Personally, I think On Stranger Tides looks like it could be the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel I’ve been waiting for ever since I saw the original film. I know there are still a few skeptics out there who believe it might be too little, too late – but I think the box office results will prove that audiences haven’t grown entirely weary of Captain Jack just yet.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens in regular, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters on May 20, 2011.

Source: USA Today.

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  1. Good.

    • yep

  2. I really love the fact that the original trilogy is actually one story. It was really great! I loved the second more than the first, and the third more than the second. The trailers of POTC 4 did not impress me at all, on the contrary. I think it is going to be the worst movie of the series, and even bad by itself. If they are going to make a standalone stories, it will be very sucks for sure, imo.

    • So you liked the Will Turner/Elizabeth Swan characters after the 1st film?

      • I really didn’t mind the Turner/Swan love story in the trilogy, but there was no reason for it to continue in Pirates 4.

        • I agree I liked the first trilogy, and ddint mind Turner and Swan. i felt like it gave a solid fluid story when you put all three together.

      • Yes, I liked their part in the story, even though I know there are a lot of people who did not like them.

    • I am really interested in what make the second and the third better too you.

      • for me it was Bill Nighy, I thought he was great as Davie Jones, i liked that alot better then the cursed crew. I absolutely loved the final battle in the third.

    • Wow, I am just the opposite. I found the first movie to be a great, fun movie. The sequels were actually pretty tedious, IMO. I think the new film does not have to be to good to be better than those 2 films.

  3. Straight to DVD.

    • I highly doubt that, considering this movie has a May 20th theatrical release to theaters. They wont be skipping this movies theatrical release, to put it directly on to dvd and blu ray.

  4. I didn’t mind the Will/Elizabeth story in the FIRST Pirates, got old in Dead Man’s Chest, then World’s End was FTW, DEFINITELY not tired of Captain Jack Sparrow yet.

    • I agree. Good point you’ve made there. I got tired of Will/Elizabeth as well by then too.

  5. I definitely didnt think the sequels were better than the first. The second one was probably my least favorite. I only liked the third one more because of all the epic action that happened on the Black Pearl and Flying Dutchman at the end. But im really looking forward to this one as it starts fresh. Which is something Pirates needs. I liked the Turner/Swan story to a degree but they had their happy ending. Time to move on.

  6. I really enjoyed the second film but felt like the conclusion the third delivered did not live up to the cliffhanger Dead Man’s Chest had established… I guess what I am really trying to say is that I would have gone in an entirely different direction in At World’s End… One of the main themes I certainly would have kept going was the transformation of Norrington into a pirate… The one thing he hates most… That would have been awesome!

  7. To call this 4th picture a stand alone sequel would be to deny the end of At World’s End… Which left off with Captain Jack Sparrow headed in search of the fountain of youth!

    • Thats exactly what he is doing…. going for the Fountain of Youth

    • Are you completely unaware of what this fourth installment is about? Jack going to the fountain of youth is how this movie has been advertised since day one.

      • I think what Edward is saying is that bc they teased the Fountain of Youth at the end of AWE that all of the films are still closely connected somehow. But saying OST is a standalone sequel means that it doesn’t have any major plot threads connecting it to the previous three films. You can probably jump right into it without even having seen the past two films and not miss a thing.

        It’s more like the Indiana Jones series in that sense – recurring supporting characters, but completely separate adventures. There was no grand design in mentioning the fountain at the end of the third film. I’m pretty sure it was because it was one of their original ideas for the second & third films.

        Ultimately, it was a nice way to show that Jack’s adventures would continue (and to send him off in a way that visually tied back to his first appearance in the trilogy). When a fourth film became official, they just revisited that premise.

  8. I’m with you Chris on the idea that this is the sequel we’ve been waiting for since “Curse of the Black Pearl.” That was a great stand-alone movie and I appreciated your Captain Jack/Will Turner analogy to Han Solo/Luke Skywalker. That is what was great about “Curse of the Black Pearl.”

    While I did appreciate Bill Nighy as Davy Jones, I more excited about Ian McShane in any capacity. This article just got me a little more excited about this movie.

  9. Good. Because whenever they try to string films together, Hollywood fails miserably. ZZZZ

  10. i love to play in pirates of carribean

  11. POTC 4 has passes. Will Turner wasn’t even mentioned, they shouldnt have made a 4th one if Will wouldnt be in it. I know his story has finished. But they shoulda taken it back a few years from the epilogue of POTC 3. So Will Turners adventures on the Flying Dutchman will be told.



    WE WANT RAGETTI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. I have seen and enjoyed each of the pirates of the caribbean, and do hope for another.

  13. It’s really stupid because Old triology (Will and Elizabeth) won’t act.. POTC is going worse.. 3rd part was the best but 4 is stupid for sure. And I think Will’s and Elizabeth’s story didn’t end because shes Pirate King and he is captain of flying dutchman.. This standalone is boring! If Geofrey Rush quits also I won’t watch anymore. But I want elizabeth and will back :P

  14. I think they need to make one with the story of Will and Elizabeth and thier Son…. make twist about how Will can come on to land or make his family be part of the crew with him… I love thier love story and want it to go on… I hated the 4th Pirates… they cut out two main characters! I know so many people that want Will and Elizabeth to return and I would love to see that happen..