The last we reported on the much-speculated Pirates of the Caribbean 4, it was when Johnny Depp updated fans about the possible sequel while talking up his other upcoming movies, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows. Depp didn’t give much, but did mention that the project was in the early stages, with the filmmakers trying to get a script together, and that generally he’d love to do it. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer also reportedly said a little while ago that a script was being worked on at the moment.

In an update and extension of what all has been said about Pirates of the Caribbean 4 as of late, Disney Head of Production, Oren Aviv, has revealed some rather surprisingly forthright news: the fourth installment in the hugely successful franchise is hopefully going to shoot in the first half of 2010, and could possibly be the start of a new trilogy:

“We’re going to shoot ‘Pirates 4′ in April and May of next year… We are going to release it hopefully in 2011 is the plan… hopefully [to] be the first of another trilogy.”

Aviv went on to talk about what the story needs to be for Pirates 4, admitting that he wants everything to be less complicated for the next one (and beyond):

“It’s important to get the story right and it’s important to me to scale it down, because we can’t get bigger… The movies have subsequently gotten bigger and bigger and very complicated and they were satisfying on so many levels obviously, but I want to kind of reboot the whole thing and bring it down to its core, its essence, just characters.”

Aviv also made mention of the fact that there’s a lot of Captain Jack Sparrow’s backstory that we haven’t gone into yet, but at the same didn’t say whether or not Pirates 4 would include any of that.

Bruckheimer also gave some more of his thoughts on Pirates 4 in a Q&A with TIME, confirming the fact that they’re working on a script. He sounds pretty eager to do another:

“I can’t wait to see it. We are working on a screenplay right now, and hopefully that will come together. These things are difficult to get right. We know Johnny [Depp] is interested in doing it, so that’s a good start.”

For more from Aviv you can head over to ComingSoon.net, and for the full Q&A with Bruckheimer you can head over to TIME.

It’s interesting to hear the direction that the Head of Production of Disney wants to go with the Pirates franchise now. It’s so relieving to see he realizes how complicated (although unfortunately he states that made them compelling) the franchise got as it went on, and I’d personally love to see the type of scaled down sequel he’s talking about.

To me, the first Pirates movie was the only good one, with the two sequels being (as stated) overly-complicated and overly-long tedious messes (particularly At World’s End). One of the main problems was the concentration on the love story between Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s characters. Thankfully that probably won’t be included in the fourth movie, since Knightley has previously said she’s not doing another one (although we’ll see if the lure of a fat pay check changes that). And since Depp seems to be interested in returning as Captain Jack Sparrow, I really hope that’s where the concentration lies this time around.

Whether Pirates 4 does actually end up shooting next April and May as Aviv says is something we’ll just have to wait and see. But considering he’s the Head of Production at Disney, I’m pretty sure he has some idea of what he’s talking about.

What do you think about Pirates 4 possibly shooting by Spring next year? Do you like the sound of what Disney Production Head, Oren Aviv, has in mind for the future of the franchise?

As stated, Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is (potentially) going to be shooting in May and April of next year, and has a speculated release date of sometime in 2011.

Sources: ComingSoon and TIME (thanks to reader “Aly”)