Johnny Depp is still not officially committed to starring in Pirates of the Caribbean 5, franchise screenwriter Terry Rossi is working without his usual writing partner (Ted Elliott) on the film's script, and it looks like Disney has failed to convince a high-profile filmmaker like Tim Burton, Sam Raimi, or Alfonso Cuarón to direct the movie.
Does that mean we might not get to see Depp as Jack Sparrow on the big screen a fifth time? Of course not. It just means that a followup to the hit fourth entry in the Pirates series, On Stranger Tides, is slowly making its way down the production pipeline and probably won't be released until, say, Summer 2014 - which is just as well, since Depp already has a big-budget extravaganza scheduled for Summer 2013 (ie. Lone Ranger).
On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall has signed a two-year deal with Disney and is keeping up-to-date on the development of the fifth Pirates flick; much like Depp, he's not officially signed up for the project, yet. However, also like Depp, the increasingly-busy Marshall seems to be simply biding his time and waiting for Rossi to finish off the screenplay, before he fully commits to producing and/or directing the movie.
Here is what Marshall had to offer THR, on the current status of PotC 5:
"Terry [Rossio] is writing it and he’s working incredibly hard and he did a draft and rethought it all and started working on it again. You want to make sure you are asking the audience to come back to see an exciting adventure and it has to reach that caliber, and if not there’s no reason to do it. I know Johnny feels the same way: He needs to see a script, but he would be happy — if it’s the right script — to put that hat and sword back on.”
It's fair to say: many people are tired of Depp's Jack Sparrow shtick by now and find the Pirates movies to be increasingly dull popcorn blockbusters. Still, box office stats don't lie and there's still a whole lot of worldwide love for this franchise.
That's all to say: since Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is definitely on the horizon, we might as well hope for the best. Who knows, maybe the combination of Rossio's solo screenwriting duties and Marshall's possible return to direct the film (having learned some lessons from his efforts on... On Stranger Tides) will help imbue Pirates 5 with a newfound sense of creative energy. Hey, it worked for Fast Five, right?
We will continue to keep you updated on the status of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 as more information is released.