Disney Gets Writer Terry Rossio Back For <i>Pirates 5</i>

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides continues to sail toward its May 20 release, but now we drop anchor for a moment to talk about the sequel. Disney is already forecasting a big opening for the series' upcoming return to port, and they're charting out a course for Jack Sparrow's future adventures.

Okay okay, enough nautical metaphors: Terry Rossio, co-writer on the four previous Pirates, is now set up to write the fifth movie without his writing partner Ted Elliott, Deadline reports. Also being sought for repeat performances are star Johnny Depp, who reportedly has some sort of deal point involving a fifth movie, and director Rob Marshall.

Deadline cautions that it's "too early to consider [Depp] locked," but it's safe to say that the studio will have a difficult time moving the series without the magnetic presence of his Jack Sparrow performance. Fans can take heart in the fact that the actor appears game to return at least. "As long as we can put all the puzzle pieces together, I would most definitely consider it," he said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. Also worth noting that he said in the same interview, "It was funny to see a pregnant woman f—ing sword-fighting" of his co-star, Penelope Cruz.

I know I'm not the only one who isn't sold on the need for more Pirates, not even a fourth one. The Curse of the Black Pearl, the first movie, turned out much better than it had any right to. It was proof that an adaptation could have ridiculous roots -- in this case, a theme park attraction -- and still succeed on the strength of its execution. Unfortunately, the second and third movies tailed off significantly, and the end of the trilogy came as a welcome relief.

Disney clearly still sees life in the franchise, and I wish them the best. No one sets out to make a bad movie. Having Cruz and Ian McShane on board (not more boat wordplay, honest!) is a good sign, and Marshall promises to at least bring something different... but I'm still not convinced. The lingering bad taste over the final two-thirds of the previous trilogy is going to keep me doubtful until I see On Stranger Tides.

Not that that's a bad thing. Tempered expectations make a surprising release all the more exciting. See also: The Green Hornet.

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