It’s a pirate’s life for fans of the smash-hit movie series Pirates of the Caribbean—especially with the news that a reboot is in the works. While no release date has been announced yet and other news is slim, we can still examine where we are and what we know of the series’ future.
Disney’s first movie in the series based on the ride, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, released in 2003 to the tune of $654 million. The movie was a smash hit, causing Disney to quickly follow up with a sequel. Dead Man’s Chest released in 2006, with At World’s End closing out the original trilogy in 2007. And while the sequels still proved successful, At World’s End‘s $963.4 million haul saw a slight decline from Dead Man’s Chest‘s $1.066 billion worldwide total.
On Stranger Tides, released in 2011, would go on to reestablish the series with another billion dollars, with 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales taking a bit of a stumble. That film took in $794 million. But the series’ popularity extends beyond the movies. This isn’t even taking into account the books and video games, or the updates to the ride that started it all. Now, with a sixth movie planned, Disney is talking about a reboot to the beloved franchise.
Despite the stinger at the end of the fifth film teasing a continuation, Disney has been looking to revamp the franchise. While the original series is a smash hit with a total, rebooting the series does have its perks. For one, a reboot means a fresh continuity, which allows for exploring plot points that previous movies handled differently or locked out of exploring in the future. A reboot also means new actors, which would allow for new translations of different characters.
As for progress on the next movie’s script, Pirates’ writers are navigating treacherous waters. Initially, Disney had Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick signed on to write the rebooted script. However, Reese and Wernick left the project in early 2019. Later that same year, longtime Pirates writer Ted Elliott and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin were announced as the new writers. With Ted Elliott’s experience with the franchise and Craig Mazin’s talent for both terror and comedy, the new script is bound to be interesting.
The short answer to this one seems to be no — Disney has made the decision to move ahead on the reboot without star Johnny Depp playing Captain Jack Sparrow. This may be due to his problematic past few years making him not a sure investment.
Even without the controversy, though, Disney moving forward on the reboot without Johnny Depp makes some sense. A reboot is precisely what it says on the tin: starting fresh with the same concept. Going forward without the old actors opens up the world to fresh portrayals. It also opens up the budget as Disney is going to reportedly save 90 million dollars by not going with Depp.
Progress on the franchise’s reboot may have slowed with the coronavirus pandemic, but new information is sure to continue to surface. In the meantime, the first four films are available to watch on Disney+ for those who don’t want to wait to revisit the high seas.
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With Pirates of the Caribbean 6 in the works, we break down everything we know regarding the future of the beloved franchise.