Fifth & Sixth “Pirates” Already Setting Sail

A few years ago after the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” proved such a success with critics and at the box-office, Disney immediately went ahead with two further sequels to be shot back-to-back.

Reviews weren’t so peachy for the follow-ups, but the revenue certainly was with both earning around $1 billion worldwide each. Still, Disney was daunted by the prospect of a fourth film and with a new director (Rob Marshall) at the helm and a stand alone film in mind, it’s not surprising they haven’t spoken much about the franchise’s plans beyond the recently wrapped “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”.

That changed today as HitFix reports that “Disney has begun quietly telling cast and crew to set aside a major block of time in the very near future so they can shoot “Pirates 5” and “Pirates 6.” And, yes, once again, they will be shooting them back-to-back as one giant film, and then they’ll release them as two films.”

It’s a risky move, the previous two sequels cost at least $525 million to produce and likely as much again to market. It paid off big time the first go around, but the experience of the sequels (especially the third film) was decidedly nowhere near as well received as the first film was. So if the reaction to the $200 million ‘Tides’ is not what the company expects, heads might roll. Disney however is apparently far happier with what they’ve seen of ‘Tides’ thus far than even they probably expected to be.

The other question is time. Depp is in high demand and is committed to shooting “Dark Shadows” and Disney’s own “The Lone Ranger” in the near future. A back-to-back “Pirates” sequels production would likely require almost a full year of filming and makes one wonder what other talents from this adventure, like Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz, will be back for another go should these sequels go ahead.