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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in Disney’s popular franchise, is set to hit theaters on May 20, 2011. While critics and audiences were mixed on “At World’s End,” the third installment of the series, Disney apparently has no worries about the box office performance of this upcoming fourth film, helmed by Rob Marshall of Chicago fame; the Mouse House is already planning for two more movies, both to be filmed back-to-back just like “Dead Man’s Chest” and “At World’s End.” Apparently, Disney wants to get started on this “in the very near future” according to HitFix.
But there’s a problem: Johnny Depp. The movie would still do impressive business without him, but his involvement guarantees an even more outstanding box office take. He’s the series’ big box office draw, yet the series is what made him famous. (a catalyst relationship, no?)
Depp is currently slated to star in original "Pirates" director Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, which will be filming throughout next year. He’ll probably start work on the latest “Pirates” after finishing both of those, but what does this mean for the supposed “very near future” filming? While much of the series is focused on the exploits and adventures of Depp’s Jack Sparrow, it’s not all about him. Perhaps the studio wants to shoot all of the scenes that don’t feature Sparrow while Depp is busy with his other projects.
It is also worth noting that the budget for "On Stranger Tides" is reportedly massive, like one of the biggest all time, so Disney must feel really good about the fourth generating renewed interest to be talking about fifth and sixth films before the first trailer has even come out.
Either way, these films could be quite entertaining, but for now let’s just hope that Rob Marshall brought the series back to the exciting action-adventure tale we all know and love.