If you’ve been following movie news over the last year or so, you shouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to learn that Pirates of the Caribbean 4 will be in 3D. However, before you get too upset and start ranting about how every movie is being released in 3D (although our name should let you know we encourage that!),  you should know that Pirates 4 is being shot in that format and not converted after the fact.

The lesser of two evils, some would say.

If there’s a surprising side to this news it’s that the announcement comes after reports that the cost of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 was being downsized. This was reportedly going to be accomplished by such methods as cutting down shooting day lengths for certain scenes, to the extremity of removing things entirely from the script to save money wherever possible.

However, soon after those reports hit came word from Pirates 4 screenwriter, Terry Rossio, who denied the budget cuts and said that the budget hadn’t even been set yet, so there was “nothing to report.” If that news wasn’t true, then I guess it’s even less of a surprise that they’re taking the hugely successful Pirates franchise into the third dimension.

Pirates of the Caribbean - Suited to 3D?

The question is whether or not the Pirates franchise is truly suited to 3D or not. My gut reaction is “no,” simply because the franchise tends to be very busy with a lot of messy action happening on-screen. It could be suited to 3D if they take things in a new direction, with more focus on the story and better action set-pieces (read: providing less of the mess found in Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End).

But the fact that they’ve already cast new good-looking male and female leads to effectively replace Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley (neither of whom are returning) suggests they’re looking to keep things similar to the previous Pirates movies.

However, like I said, the silver lining is the fact that Pirates 4 is going to be shot in 3D instead of being converted in post-production as they did with Clash of the Titans (which lead to horrible results). At least we’ll get “good 3D,” even if it still means having to wear those big glasses…

Are you glad to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4 go the 3D route? Or is this yet another film that shouldn’t have jumped onto the bandwagon?

Pirates 4 will see the return of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, and joining him on this latest pirating adventure are: Ian McShane as the villain Blackbeard; Penelope Cruz as Blackbeard’s daughter and “Captain Jack’s equal”; Stephen Graham (Public Enemies) as “Scram”; Sam Claflin as “Philip, a youthful missionary”; and Astrid Berges-Frisbey in a “key role” as a mermaid.

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides will begin shooting in Hawaii on June 14th this year under the direction of Rob Marshall (Chicago). It will hit theaters on May 20th, 2011.

Source: Walt Disney Pictures (via Coming Soon)