By Drew Taylor | The Playlist January 14, 2011 at 3:30AM
Apparently Johnny Depp isn't the only one down for another swashbuckling go-around in the enchanted waters of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. Deadline is reporting that screenwriter Terry Rossio, who has co-scripted all of the previous films (including this summer's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"), has officially signed on to pen the fifth installment. Deadline notes that this will be the first 'Pirates' adventure he's written without his longtime writing partner Ted Elliott, which indeed is intriguing.
Supposedly Depp thought these guys did such a bang-up job on the two sequels that he wasn't willing to return to the franchise without them. This says a lot, especially considering how buddy-buddy he is with the original trilogy's director Gore Verbinski (Depp voices the lead character in Verbinski's upcoming animated western "Rango"). Verbinski said no to a fourth film but Depp stayed put. Not without Rossio and Elliott, though.
We wonder if this is a preemptive move to definitively secure Depp for the fifth film. From what we understand "On Stranger Tides" is more of a one-off romp but if there were future sequels we've heard that they would dip back into the potentially risky, mythology-strewn realm of the latter films "Dead Man's Chest" and "At World's End."
The Deadline article notes that Disney is also trying to solidify a deal to have Rob Marshall, director of "Chicago" and "Nine," to return for another film (he helmed "On Stranger Tides"). We wonder what the sudden flurry of activity is about; maybe Disney brass saw the new film and were strongly encouraged by what they witnessed? Maybe they got a hold of a copy of Entertainment Weekly this week where Depp casually said he'd potentially be game for a fifth film. Or maybe they're just clamoring after a surefire franchise since "Tron Legacy," their next great tent-pole hope, didn't exactly wow audiences like they expected. The thinking seems to be that, like the theme park ride it's based upon, people will be eager to watch the new one and get in line for another entry in the not-too-distant future. That or they'll ditch "Pirates" all together and see what's happening in Tomorrowland.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (and in 3D!) splashes into theaters May 20th.