We got word at the end of July this year that Pirates of the Caribbean 4 may have found its director in Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine). Since then we’ve found out the name of the film ( On Stranger Tides); what it’s probably going to be about; that it’s going to be based on a book; and even that Johnny Depp may not be coming back (although Disney promised we’d see him in the fourth one, at least).

However, now we get the news that Marshall is confirmed to be directing Pirates of the Caribbean 4. According to a tipster over at AICN who attended a DGA screening of Marshall’s latest, Nine, Marshall replied to a question about what his next project would be by name-dropping Pirates of the Caribbean. Here’s what he said:

“‘Y’know, it’s something that I was offered and never in the world thought I would do but then I was like ‘why not?’… I’m doing ‘ Pirates of the Caribbean….”

So even though it was rumored, and looked pretty damn likely back this summer, it’s still nice to hear confirmation come from the Marshall himself. On top of that, another nice little piece of info that might be of interest to you Captain Jack Sparrow/Depp fans out there is that Marshall said he, “had a wonderful meeting [with Depp] and that they’re both excited to work together.”

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is to be based on a 22-year-old book also called “On Stranger Tides” by author Tim Powers, using the plot of the search for the Fountain of Youth. It’s a very fitting thing to build a story around for a Pirates movie, and with Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley unlikely to be back for the fourth (we’re slightly more confident about Knightley not returning), it means they can use that plot to concentrate on Captain Jack and perhaps Captain Barbossa, who IMO are the two best characters in the franchise.

As for Marshall, I’m not going to lie and say it’s an excellent choice just for the hell of it. He’s most definitely not the first name I would think of to pick up the reigns after Gore Verbinski left. His theatrical directing debut back in 2002 was the multi-Oscar winning Chicago, and he has upcoming the Daniel-Day Lewis, Penelope Cruz and Nicole Kidman-starring Nine (also a musical) – neither film is exactly overflowing with hidden treasure or drunken pirates (or maybe the latter IS – time will tell icon razz Rob Marshall Confirmed To Direct Pirates of the Caribbean 4 …)

However, as I said when he was rumored back in July, it’s refreshing to see Disney think outside of the box and get a director who you wouldn’t immediately think of (although I’m sure they’ve pondered asking Steven Spielberg at one point). I really hope Marshall can bring something new to the table and drag this franchise out of the confusing and uninspired pit it wallowed in with the second and third movies.

What do you think of Marshall apparently being the one to definitely direct Pirates of the Caribbean 4? Would he be your first choice or have you got a long list of other directors before you’d get to him?

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is supposedly to start shooting next Spring, and has a general release date set of Summer 2011.

Source: AICN (thanks to /Film)