Although the long-standing love affair between Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney is coming to an end next year, its legacy will live on in the extraordinary success of Bruckheimer's swashbuckling franchise Pirates of the Caribbean and the $3.7 billion it has grossed from box office sales alone.
Disney attempted a similar revival this summer with The Lone Ranger, which ended up being something of a financial disaster, but the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have always been heavy-hitters. The fourth installment, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, made well over $1 billion at the box office and as a result a new film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, is being shipped out in 2016.
As far as casting goes, Johnny Depp is guaranteed as a permanent fixture of the series, but the Daily Mail now reports that Keith Richards is officially signed on to return as Captain Teague, and that Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) may play the movie's villain. However, Bleeding Cool cautions that "the Waltz part is nothing like a done deal. Indeed, I’d call their story hearsay."
The report also includes more plot details that expand upon those revealed earlier this year, but anyone who has seen a Pirates of the Caribbean movie before should know what to to expect. The main plot is centred around a race between Depp's Jack Sparrow and another grizzled pirate (this time it's Captain Brand, the role Waltz is circling) to find the obligatory magical thing (this time the MacGuffin is 'The Trident'). Brand apparently bears a grudge against Jack for turning his brother, Eric, to a life of piracy that eventually killed him.
There's also a new woman in Jack's life: Carina Smyth, the daughter of Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Carina is a skilled astronomer who is accused of witchcraft due to her science knowledge and, according to Bleeding Cool, Disney is interested in Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3) for this role. As it were, Hall's next onscreen appearance will be opposite Depp in the sci-fi film Transcendence, which is the directing debut for cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight trilogy).
Barbossa himself also gets a subplot, in which he goes on a revenge mission with the ghost of a British military recruit. The Dead Men Tell No Tales screenplay written by Jeff Nathanson (Rush Hour 2 & 3) also features a new beautiful young couple to have a romantic subplot in the background, though all we know about them is that they're from farming families. Also, there are witches of "exotic" ethnicity. Yeah...
That's more than enough plot to fill out a couple of hours of screen time - if anything the writer(s) might need to snip bits off here and there to make it all fit. Of course, now they have a whole extra year to do just that.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will go a-plunderin' into theaters in summer 2016.