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In the Works: Why Bruckheimer Wanted 'Kon-Tiki' Directing Duo for 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5'

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by Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
May 30, 2013 1:47 PM
2 Comments
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Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning

The directing team of Norway's Oscar-nominated high-seas adventure film "Kon-Tiki," Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, have landed the helming gig on Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean 5." The Jerry Bruckheimer production is set for a late 2013 or January 2014 start.

The Norwegian duo beat out Rupert Sanders ("Snow White and the Huntsman") and Fredrik Bond ("The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman"). But Bruckheimer is the real auteur of this series. He has always had an eye for talent, and he's got the "Pirates" ship running pretty smoothly--but costs skyrocketed under Gore Verbinski and Rob Marshall: "On Stranger Tides" (2011) cost $250 million plus global marketing, so a slight course correction may be in order. "On Stranger Tides" grossed a solid $1 billion worldwide--and only $241 million of that was domestic.

Needless to say, this is a huge, career-changing job for Ronning and Sandberg. These guys know their way with cameras and water, and if "Kon-Tiki," which chronicled explorer Thor Heyerdahl's extraordinary ocean passage on a wooden raft, lacked a bit of narrative tension, you can bet Bruckheimer's editors will take care of that. Besides, the "Pirates" series gave up on cohesive storytelling a long time ago: they're about strings of over-the-top VFX action sequences. ILM and other VFX houses are probably more responsible for the cinematic artistry in these movies than any given director is at this point.

2 Comments

  • Eliot | May 31, 2013 12:45 AMReply

    If the director did not matter and it was all editors and visual effects then how come the first three by the original director were great and the last one from Rob Marshall sucked? The effects crew didn't change. The storytelling and pacing did. How about you learn a thing or two about movies before ripping into them?

  • Eli | May 30, 2013 5:23 PMReply

    Thank goodness, I really do enjoy Depp's performance as Sparrow and having a real directing crew behind this film will hopefully let me see a Jack focused film worth watching. I've only been coming to Pirates for Sparrow anyhow....

    Also, Kon Tiki was a wonderful film and for Bruckheimer take the gamble on real talent makes me very happy.

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