It looks like the next franchise up on the reboot docket is PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, by far the most profitable film series based on a Disney ride, followed at a considerable distance by the Space Mountain shared universe I filmed alone in my basement. Deadline reports the studio is exploring options for an update on the swashbuckling franchise from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writing duo behind both DEADPOOL films and Ruben Fleischer‘s ZOMBIELAND.
It makes sense on a business level, for sure. The PIRATES movies have raked in some serious booty since THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL hit theaters in 2003. Over the course of five films—the most recent, DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, premiered in 2017—the franchise nabbed more than $4.5 billion worldwide.
The question, though, is who if any members of the cast would return. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley already sat out the fourth installment, ON STRANGER TIDES, with the only constant through all five films being Johnny Depp‘s puckish drunken rogue Captain Jack Sparrow. The initial report notes that it’s far too early to make a guess on that particular casting front, but it’s worth noting that Depp should be mighty busy for a while with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in three more FANTASTIC BEASTS sequels.
I can’t exactly say I’m dying for a return trip to the BLACK PEARL-iverse—the franchise honestly ran out of steam immediately after DEAD MAN’S CHEST‘s dope cliffhanger—but Reese and Wernick are an admittedly intriguing choice for the job. A straight-faced, earnest reboot of the PIRATES material no, no, no and a bottle of dumb, but Reese and Wernick traffic in more trope-twisting material. They meta’d out the superhero genre with DEADPOOL, and their take on the undead in ZOMBIELAND was the freshest in years. If we must return to the high seas, I prefer to put my trust in a creative team that can dive a little bit deeper than the surface.