The fact that Disney is already eyeing a "Pirates 5" and "Pirates 6" before "On Stranger Tides" has even set sail in theaters is no secret. Initial plans had the studio thinking about shooting two more sequels back-to-back, while early in the new year it was revealed that Terry Rossio had indeed been hired to pen another film, but without his longtime partner Ted Elliott. Johnny Depp remained cagey on appearing again as Captain Jack Sparrow when asked not too long ago, and with the script now delivered, he's sticking to that story for now.
THR reports that Rossio is all finished up writing the script for the instalment but the buck is currently stopped on the desk of Depp. An an interview with the trade, Depp reveals that he's suddenly very concerned -- four films in and millions and millions and millions of dollars later -- about keeping the integrity of the franchise (whatever remains of it) intact. "It boils down to story, script and filmmaker," Depp said. "It's not something where I would say, 'Let's shoot it next month to get it out by Christmas 2012. We should hold off for a bit. They should be special, just like they are special to me."
As of yet, the fifth installment has no director, though Disney was trying to lock down "Stranger Tides" helmer Rob Marshall earlier in the year. As for Depp, it's probably just a matter of how big of a dump truck full of money and jewels the mouse house will drive up to his doorstep in France. But the actor does have some other projects he may want to get to first including "The Lone Ranger" (which recently had Armie Hammer looking at the co-starring slot) and possibly Katherine Bigelow's "Triple Frontier." But these days, Depp hasn't really been known to take wild steps out of his comfort zone of big name movies with quirky Depp-esque characters so we'll see if he truly jumps ship (ha!) or if it's just a matter of Disney meeting his demands.
Anyway, we figure he'll be asked endlessly about it next week when he walks the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival where he'll be presenting "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." It opens on May 20th.