Warning: This article contains spoilers for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and, despite mixed reviews, a sixth movie is looking likely. Orlando Bloom seemed to confirm that to Total Film, telling the magazine, "I do think they’d like to do one more. It was alluded to me that there would be room for something else." However, directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg are still keeping their cards close to their chest, telling ScreenRant that they "hope that they’ll make more," but wanted to see how the latest film does before committing to an answer. Well, if the Pirates 5 post-credit scene is anything to go by, Disney is already planning a sequel, and there's a variety of places it could take the franchise.
WILL AND ELIZABETH WON'T BE GETTING ANY PEACE
Orlando and Keira Knightley's appearance in the film was short and sweet, seeing the couple reunited after Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), their son Henry (Brenton Thwaites) and Corina (Kaya Scodelario) destroy the Trident of Poseidon and break every curse that roams the seas. No longer cursed to captain The Flying Dutchman, or to ferry souls lost at sea to the afterlife, the post-credit scene sees Will and Elizabeth sleeping peacefully in their bed. The peace doesn't last long as Will is awoken by a tentacled figure creeping out of the shadows. It vanishes before he lays eye on it, and as he falls back to sleep we see a puddle of water and barnacles, which can only mean the return of the tentacular Davy Jones.
It seems that the Trident of Poseidon managed to not only break every sea curse but allow the former evil captain of The Flying Dutchman to return from hell and now he's being set up as the main antagonist of Pirates 6. He'll probably want to exact revenge on those responsible for his demise, which means Will and Elizabeth won't be living out their days in peace on that random island we found her on at the end of the film.
They might also want to explore the possibility that their relationship is not the same after years of being apart and his traumatic experience of being bound to the Dutchman. Disney may not want to get deep into themes of PTSD but it could certainly bring some weight to the series that has been critically-pummelled for years. Of course, any of these storylines are only a possibility if Bloom, Knightley and Bill Nighy return for another outing, and so far Orlando is the only one to express any interest in that.
CARINA BECOMES A PIRATE AND HENRY HER FIRST MATE
Now that Carina Smyth knows she's actually the daughter of Captain Barbossa, Pirates 6 could see her explore her pirate heritage and even fill her dearly departed dad's shoes as the leader of his fleet. It's certainly not a new idea (what plotlines are new in this franchise?), as we previously saw in At World's End Elizabeth Swann becoming a Pirate Lord, then King. The pirate's life could be the right choice for Barbossa's daughter, and maybe even the safest one for her too, considering she spent the first act of Dead Men Tell No Tales being called a "witch" and escaping execution from the British Navy. Twice.
Pirates 6 could also see the introduction of her mother, Margaret Smyth, who was only briefly mentioned in Dead Men Tell No Tales. She apparently died after given birth to Corina, but as Davy Jones seems to be back from the dead (again), writers might want to return her mother, after taking away her father moments after discovering his identity.
Of course, Henry will be at her side and the next movie could see them attempt to tie the knot, but their wedding day plans are scuppered by some sea villain or the British Navy, or both. As the son of Will and Elizabeth, Henry could also be the primary target of a returned Davy Jones and it's up to Corina Barbossa to live to her dad's pirate name and use every trick in the handbook to rescue her husband-to-be.
SHANSA STEPS INTO THE SPOTLIGHT
Golshifteh Farahani's mysterious sea-witch was the most intriguing and underused character in Pirates 5 and if there is a sixth film she needs to be in it. Shansa's whole backstory is aching to be explored - where did she get her powers from? How did Barbossa rescue her? Why are her teeth metal? - and she's certainly not a repeat of Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris). There's no indication that her magical actions are being undertaken by a woman scorned, rather a dark and intelligent being waiting for her moment to strike. She definitely could end up being a formidable threat in Pirates 6 - but a threat to who is so far uncertain. While Shansa has helped pirates in the past, the cost of blood doesn't exactly scream "ally." The fact that Farahani previously said that her sea-witch character is "both good and bad," which could see her working with Davy Jones and the Turners, in order to manipulate her way into a position of power and out of the indentured servitude of the British Navy.
JACK SPARROW IS STILL JACK SPARROW
There is really no Pirates of the Caribbean without Captain Jack Sparrow and despite the latest film being billed as his "final" adventure, it's safe to say he'll be back if a sixth gets commissioned. But once again, don't expect the writers or Depp to provide much depth to his portrayal of the Captain of the Black Pearl because, as the directors pointed out, the forever-inebriated pirate has no character arc as "he learns nothing from his journeys".
So we can pretty much guess that in Pirates 6, Jack will still be drunk, he'll still be struggling to pull off basic acts of piracy but, of course, be able to sober up long enough to save the day at the end. There is hope, however, that a sixth film could see another side of Jack that is less slapstick and more sincere. Ronning says "there is a lot more to explore" with regards to the swashbuckling captain so we could *finally* see some growth to his character in the same way we saw Barbossa transition from villain in Curse of the Black Pearl to hero in Dead Men Tell No Tales. Fingers crossed Jack's character exploration will involve Jack's uncle Jack (played by Sir Paul McCartney) who was probably one of the funniest additions to the latest film.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) release date: May 26, 2017