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Pirates 5 - Sequel News Rundown (Revised)

J Fan November 5, 2013 User blog:J Fan

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"I think he's telling the truth."
- Mullroy

Ahoy mateys! As you may well know, there was an announcement in September that the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series was delayed. Therefore, most of the information may or may not be accurate at this time...or perhaps, the near future. Nothing is set in stone, but things can change. And so I decided to post an updated version of a previous blog, which was a rundown of everything we know about a possible fifth film in the Pirates series based on all the statements, hints, rumors and speculations released so far.

For the curious, you can see the original blog post here.
Properly warned ye be, says I. While these two blogs are similar in nature, they are different in some areas... even in between the same content. So proceed with caution, mateys.

Overview

Ever since before the release of the fourth film, On Stranger Tides, there had been many whisperings and rumors regarding a fifth Pirates on the horizon. Among the talk were uncertainties, such as when filming would take place or who would return. Pirates 5 was first brought into question (and semi-confirmed by producer Jerry Bruckheimer) when Entertainment Tonight reporter Mark Steines visited the On Stranger Tides set while an action sequence was being shot at the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot in summer 2010. [1]

STEINES: Does it stop at 4? Does it go to 5? Do you see a 6?
BRUCKHEIMER: Well, if people show up for 4, we'll certainly try and do a 5. We're already working on a story, laid out some kind of interesting beats, things we'd like to see in 5. So that's where our writers are working.

In January 2011, Johnny Depp told Entertainment Weekly that he would be interested doing a fifth film and be happy to play Captain Jack Sparrow again, "As long as we can put all the puzzle pieces together, I would most definitely consider it," he said. [2] It was later reported that veteran writer Terry Rossio would write the screenplay for Pirates 5, but without Ted Elliott, his co-writer who helped write the previous films.[3] Over the course of two years, producer Jerry Bruckheimer showed progress (mostly via Facebook, Formspring), and Twitter. Over the next year or so, there had been no solid word on where the project was in development, only that the film was still being written, and that Rob Marshall may return to direct.[4]

Confirmed

Writer
On January 11, 2013, it was reported that Jeff Nathanson had been hired to write a screenplay.[5] Jeff Nathanson's other works include the Rush Hour sequels, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, and The Last Shot, and has also co-written a story draft for the film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with George Lucas. More recently, he's done Tower Heist and Men in Black 3. To this date, it is unclear whether or not Nathanson started his work from Terry Rossio's draft or as a page one rewrite.[6]

RonningSandbergProfile

New Directors
On May 2013, Deadline reported that Disney was close to choosing a director. Of the directors mentioned, there were three that were on the short list: Fredrik Bond, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, and Rupert Sanders. [7] On May 29, it was announced that Norwegian directors Rønning and Sandberg would be direct. [8]

Bruckheimer on Pirates 5
On June 2013, producer Jerry Bruckheimer praised directors Rønning and Sandberg, where their last project Kon-Tiki was mentioned. "We saw their movie early on, maybe six months ago, and I saw some of their other work, which I thought was terrific. That convinced me. They were interested in doing it and they flew over and we showed them a script that we were working on and they had really amazing ideas." The producer also gave the status of the franchise, saying that the two came to Hollywood and started work on it. "We're hiring production designers now and it's moving forward." Bruckheimer also said that Pirates 5 would maintain the mixture of high seas adventure and supernatural horror, and confirmed where part of the movie will be filmed at. "We're certainly going to be filming in Louisiana because of the tax breaks and I think there might be a sequence there," Bruckheimer said. Before quickly adding: "But it will also be set in the Caribbean, obviously." [9]

On July 2013, near the release of Disney's The Lone Ranger, Bruckheimer hinted the film would explore brand new and exciting horizons. Asked what he believes audiences want, Bruckheimer said, "We don't know what they want." He added, "We try to go by our gut and figure out what's exciting; where haven't we traveled in the past."[10]

Pirates 5 Title and Progress
On August 22, 2013, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg confirmed that the film's title would be Dead Men Tell No Tales, alluding to the line well-known from the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disney Parks around the world.[11] The duo also revealed that they have been working on the film since May (i.e. when they were announced as Disney's choice to direct) and are in pre-production in an office at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. They spoke highly of the script and said they are "very influenced" by the first Pirates film, The Curse of the Black Pearl. "We have a great script that Jeff Nathanson has written," Sandberg said. "It's really funny and touching. We're really looking forward to realizing everything."[12]

As per the full interview by This Is Infamous, the website that originally posted the news online [13]...

The Kidd – You're linked and attached to the future of THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN series and with the 2015 release date already announced, I was curious as to what the state of the script was, and kind of a time table for heading into production in order to make that release date.
Espen Sandberg – Yeah. We're in great shape with the script. It's really, really good. It's Jeff Nathanson's. It's very funny, and it's also a very touching script, actually. So we're very happy with the collaboration we have with him and with Bruckheimer and Disney, and we're planning now that we'll begin to shoot at the beginning of next year. We're already a few months into pre-production.
The Kidd – Is there a name for it other than PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 at this point?
Joachim Rønning – Yeah. DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES.
The Kidd – Oh, okay! Is it going to link back to the other films as well or is this going to be its own adventure?
Espen Sandberg – Both! [Laughs]
Joachim Rønning – We can't really go into that. I think what we can say is that we're very much inspired by the first film and the purity of that.

Now as you saw in the interview above, a few things were stated: a 2015 release date, a statement that P5 is already a few months into pre-production, and a plan of shooting early 2014. While I haven't mentioned it anywhere above, I will get to it in the next scrap of news below.

Delay
On January 14, 2013, Disney shared some release dates - chief among them, the fifth Pirates was set for July 10, 2015. [14] However, on September 10, only 7-8 months later, it was reported that the film had been delayed beyond its initial 2015 release due to issues with the script. As revealed by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, "We have an outline everyone loves but the script is not done." Bruckheimer said it was necessary to push the project because "we’re supposed to start in March and you start spending a lot of money now." According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Pirates filmmakers weren't happy with screenwriter Jeff Nathanson's initial script, and he's now at work on a second attempt based on the well-received outline. But Bruckheimer asks, "How do you budget an outline?" The report also claimed a source says the studio thought the original Nathanson script "was too expensive but it was also really complicated and hard to follow." Asked whether he's still confident that the project will come together, Bruckheimer says, "With any movie, you’re never confident. But it’s a billion-dollar franchise." [15]

Despite the delay, Disney (as well as fans) are not too worried, as the summer of 2015 is already packed with big films. These films include Warner Bros.' tentatively-titled Batman vs. Superman, as well as Disney's own releases Star Wars: Episode VII, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and a Pixar film, Inside Out.

Quoting Disney production president Sean Bailey:[16]

"Like audiences around the globe, we have high expectations for Jack Sparrow's next adventure and we want to have all the right elements in place. We're not there yet and we want to make sure this project is everything these wonderful characters and of course the fans deserve."

Nevertheless, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is currently without a fully confirmed release date, though sources have indicated a possible Summer 2016 release. [17]

Rumor/Speculation

As with many releases, there will be rumors and speculations about Pirates of the Caribbean 5, and it may be impossible to try and list all them. I will, however, present the much-viewed and most discussed rumors.

Note: Almost none of the following have been confirmed by Disney or Jerry Bruckheimer Films,
so take it all with a grain of salt.
...even more so now that the film is delayed.

Cast and Crew
Some of the cast (particularly the newcomers from On Stranger Tides) expressed interest in reprising their roles. Those expressing said interest do include but are not limited to, with available quotes...

  • Sam Claflin (Philip Swift): "Being a man of the cloth in this movie, I never really got to do any sword fighting. I was always the one trying to stop the others from fighting," Sam said. "But when I watched all of the other guys fighting, it took me back to when I was 4-years-old. Playing with my friends on the playground or whatever ... Which is why I've already told the writers if I'm going to be in the next one, make me a killer. A mercenary. The beauty of these 'Pirates' films is that when they do the sequels, they don't immediately spell out why things are the way they are. For example, seeing Geoffrey Rush's character in this new one and his pegleg. You don't find out 'til 3/4ths of the way through 'On Stranger Tides' how Barbossa got his pegleg," Sam continued. "So wouldn't it be beautiful if Phillip came back as a mercenary in 'Pirates 5' ?Because you'd have to explain how he'd become this killer. I don't think that's going to happen. But fingers crossed." [18]
  • Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (Syrena): "I would be excited to be part of another 'Pirates' movie," Astrid concluded. "I had so much fun and I learned so much while making this one. And who knows? In a 'Pirates' movie, even the characters who die then can come back and appear in the next one. I really hope that they do ask me to come back. Because I'd love to work with this marvelous team and family again."[19]
  • Stephen Graham (Scrum): "Yeah, I’m still alive! I was playing the mandola on the ship in the last bit, so hopefully yeah. We’ll see what happens." [20]
  • Greg Ellis (Theodore Groves): "The last we saw of Groves, he was being dragged off by this pair of soldiers. So I guess that he could have possibly survived the battle in the cave of the Fountain of Youth," Ellis reasoned. "Tell you what. Let me go call Terry (Editor's note: Terry Rossio - along with his longtime writing partner, Ted Elliot - wrote the screenplays for "Pirates 1 - 4." But Rossio is supposedly doing a solo on the "Pirates 5" script) and see if Groves will be making an appearance in the next movie. Because I'd love to spend another summer shooting in Hawaii if I could." [21]
  • Keith Richards (Captain Teague): "I'll wait for a call from Johnny." [22]

Now regarding main key cast members. On May 2011, at the press day for On Stranger Tides, Penélope Cruz (Angelica) stated where she would like to see for her character in future films...

"I hope she's not going to die of hunger! I have the hope that, because she finds the doll of Captain Jack, that she has some of those voodoo powers from her father, and maybe she’s going to be able to get him to come back. She can't die alone out there!" [23]

As of September 2012, Cruz admitted that she had not heard anything or read a script. [24]

BTSJackGibbsfingerwaggle

Despite Joshamee Gibbs having survived the events of On Stranger Tides and was last seen in Captain Jack's company, Kevin McNally was philosophical when the topic of the pending sequel came up.

"Who knows. Gibbs could get eaten by some off-screen sea beast between Pirates 4 and Pirates 5." McNally continued, "Don't get me wrong. I love making these movies. I love working with two consummate professional gentlemen like Mr. Rush and Mr. Depp. But I'm not the one who gets to decide here if my character comes back or not. That said, I do hope that they bring Mr. Gibbs back. He seems to be the only sensible character in the Pirates series. Plus Gibbs usually occupies a very important role in these stories. He's the one who typically questions Captain Jack's motives. Which makes this character a very useful device, at least when it comes to clarifying key plot points for the audience." [25]
Barbossausingswordoftriton

As for Geoffrey Rush (Hector Barbossa), fans already know what happened to the character at the end. But what happens afterwards? Rush loved the way the writers managed to give an evolution to the character. The most popular theory, or at least in his perspective, are focused on Barbossa possibly becoming the villain...again.

  • "If they keep shapeshifting this character, absolutely. In fact, given the way things leave off in 'Pirates 4,' maybe the story will now come full circle and I'll get to play a villain again. Who knows? All I know is that - blue stocking and all -- the character of Barbossa is still great fun to play."[26]
  • "Well, Barbossa is left with the best moment of career achievement. At the end of the first one he’s killed, at the end of second one he comes back, at the end of the third one he thinks he has the map of the Fountain of Youth but it has a big hole in it. So where they go in five with Barbossa being the king of the world? He could turn into James Cameron, I don’t know. He could lose that power or compound that power. His megalomania could explode in horrific ways."[27]

Despite his apparent interest, Rush also said that the writers and Jerry Bruckheimer can't start making the film without knowing that the script is in good shape. "But, as to when it will go, I know nothing." [28]

New or Returning Cast?
Of course there will be new cast members, but one wonders who is interested. One that stands out includes Robert Downey Jr. (which was covered in a previous blog). At the premiere of The Lone Ranger, the same fan brought up the idea with Johnny Depp, who was interested in the idea.[29] But considering either opinion didn't break out on the news, this could more than likely be just a conversation between celebrity and fan rather than official interest.

We already covered returning cast members of On Stranger Tides, but what about the original Pirates trilogy? Of course there was a rather big rumor (which is covered below). For now, though, we'll be speaking about known actors interested that didn't make it to news articles, such as Lee Arenberg (Pintel). When speaking at the Farpoint Star Trek Convention in Timonium, Maryland, Arenberg revealed that he was sad that he couldn't return for the fourth Pirates film.[30] From there and posting on Twitter, Arenberg had shown interest in returning for Pirates 5. [31] While it's not official, it's not impossible either, as many fans have missed both Pintel and his cohort Ragetti. The two characters were also considered to make an appearance in On Stranger Tides, but director Rob Marshall opted out of the idea as he feared their roles would be cut. [32]

Orlando Bloom?
Pirates fans already know what happened to Will Turner at the end of At World's End, though his ultimate fate being controversial to some. But was it a real goodbye? Orlando Bloom, who portrayed Will Turner in the original Pirates trilogy, passed on returning in the fourth Pirates movie so that he could spend more time with his girlfriend at the time, and now wife, Miranda Kerr. In fact, Bloom gave multiple quotes stating that he was happy to move on from the character, perceiving that Will Turner's storyline had tied up nicely in the third film, so far as to say Will was "sort of swimming around with the fish at the bottom of the ocean." [33]

In October 2011, while being interviewed for The Three Musketeers, Orlando Bloom stated that, if offered, he would be happy to return: "I was quite sad not to be in the fourth and I really miss working on them. If they said they wanted me back, of course I'd do it. It's great to see the franchise still doing so well."[34]

On September 2012, there was an erroneous report surfaced that said Pirates 5 would be using the equally-tropical terrain of Puerto Rico, though Disney was quick to confirm that the aforesaid story is inaccurate and that the movie is still in development. [35] Shortly after, Clint Morris (Caffeinated Clint) of Moviehole reported that a "separate Disney contact" gave this one-line response:

"Will Turner's story might not be finished..." [36]

The answer is very cryptic. This new rumor contradicts all previous news of Will Turner's story being over,[37] though it does seem far off because of Will's story reportedly being over, as aforementioned. Despite this, it implies that Will Turner's story may continue, but doesn't confirm on if it's for a full-length movie or maybe a short film (a la Tales of the Code: Wedlocked). It could even be Disney's tease of a possible Pirates television series, as producer Jerry Bruckheimer was interested in the idea, mentions that Tim Tyler's Luck, based on the comic book, is one of his favorite old movie serials. [38] But with Bloom's recent statement and Disney's intention to keep the Pirates franchise alive, we can only guess what is going on right now.

Terry Rossio and others
Veteran writer Terry Rossio was originally writing the script for Pirates 5, and had been reported as writer for years. Of all the news that stood out, actor Geoffrey Rush said that, when asked if any new aspect of the pirate world were to be explored, "I have a feeling from what Terry said that he might explore things that aren't necessarily pirates-based. He'll put them into dramatic situations that aren't necessarily pirate-driven." [39] But whether that idea was dropped or even considered, is unknown.

It later emerged on January 2013, that Jeff Nathanson would write the screenplay. This made people think that Rossio either had a new writing partner, or that he was replaced altogether. Following the reports and the big confusion amongst the fan community, Rossio was directly asked whether or not he was still involved in the project on his official website, Wordplay. His reply was that it was "a case of Shroedinger's Cat. The answer is either yes or no, and the box hasn't been opened yet." [40]

The answers are very cryptic. However, as of Fall 2013, Pirates 5 remains listed on Wordplay's filmography. The following is written under "Projects In Development":[41]

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 -- (Screenplay by: Jeff Nathanson) Distributed by: Disney Studios. Executive Producers: Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Terry Rossio. Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer. Directed by: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.

Assuming this post remains online, Pirates 5 will see the return of Mike Stenson and Chad Oman as Executive Producers. This also seems to reveal that Jeff Nathanson is the sole writer of the potential film, while Terry Rossio is only credited as an Executive Producer(a position previously taken for On Stranger Tides). All this was further confirmed by Rossio himself, answering his involvement in the film. [42]

Hawaii?
As you may know, most of On Stranger Tides was filmed in the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Oahu. On April 25, 2013, Pacific Business News had reported that several films had plans to film in Hawaii. It was "hinted" that Pirates franchise would come back for the fifth film. [43]

Recent Cast Auditions
On July 22, 2013, it was reported that Samara Weaving had been shortlisted for a role in the fifth Pirates installment. With Home And Away on a filming hiatus, Weaving was rumoured to be meeting with casting directors and had reportedly been shortlisted for a role in the film. [44] Taking from the Australian Daily Telegraph, "They are still auditioning but they have a short list and I'm sure she's on it," an industry source said. [45]

It was later reported that Sonam Kapoor and Tara Sharma Saluja have auditioned for the same role.[46]

Oxford?
On August 2, 2013, Pirates 5 came into subject during a Bleeding Cool Movie Podcast with Jason Staveley. According to the podcast, P5 would film in Oxford and a main character becomes a professor at Oxford University. A pretty big rumor, but this is currently the only available source that covers it.[47]

The Brethren Court?
On August 18, it was reported that a draft of the script was to once again bring together the Brethren Court. However, the end of the article outright states that this will probably change, since the script is still being drafted and finalized for filming. [48]

Possible Plot Reveal?
Throughout the four films, Captain Jack Sparrow had embarked on a number of grand adventures, most recently after the fabled Fountain of Youth. As one adventure ends, the far-off horizon beckons with promises of new treasures to be had. While the exact nature of Jack's next venture is still tightly under wraps, there have been whisperings and rumors that it may involve some fantastical. One of the more popular fan theories regarding the plot for the sequel are focused around finding Atlantis.

On September 11, 2013, as previously posted in a blog a day later, possible plot details seem to have surfaced. This was shown the day after it was reported that the fifth film was delayed because of script issues. However, it doesn't reveal what the film is about or what the specific issues are. Brendon Connelly of Bleeding Cool was the one who first uncovered these details. [49] The major plot points being...

  • A new female lead, a sparring partner for Jack Sparrow. Suspected of witchcraft, but is actually a woman of science.
  • The plot centers around witches. According to Bleeding Cool's article, these new witches had "somewhat less of a hoodoo flavouring." Note: Not sure if this pertains to the supposed plot point, but Brendon Connelly wrote that that if Naomie Harris' Tia Dalma makes an appearance, it will be a minor role.
  • One of the leading roles will be a ghost, a "former member of the British military now sided with Barbossa on a revenge mission" that gives the film its title.
  • Like Philip and Syrena from On Stranger Tides, who filled in the Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann roles from the original Pirates trilogy, there will be a "couple of pretty young Brits from farming families" as a subplot. Note: Connelly also wrote that these roles could easily be cut.
  • The film starts with a "rather awkward wedding" and climaxes with "a riff on the myth of the Bermuda Triangle."

Now that I posted this, I feel I should give this fair warning. There's no mention of how, or what version of the script this is referring to, so it is fair for some to not believe in this report. And even if it turns out these plots was true, consider the fact that the film's script is being revised (again). Meaning, it is very possible that some details may change, if not be different entirely in the finished film, which is very far, far, away. That being said, it'll be interesting to see how much of this turns out to be true...or not.

But until we know for sure, all we can do is speculate based on what we know so far.

Production Start Date? 2016 release?
I'm bringing up mainly because of the various reports around the web, some of which contradicts the other in certain small details. Some say production will begin later this year, early next year, during the summer or a little later next year, as well as that we'd expect to start hearing some casting news closer to the holidays or after the New Year. And as I wrote above, sources indicate that a Summer 2016 release is likely.

In reality, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales currently is without a release date, ergo there is no date in which production starts. This is better stated by Terry Rossio on Wordplay, who insisted that nothing regarding a possible next film has been decided, other than if it does happen, it would require Depp to participate. Quoting Mr. Rossio from his post, "It's the movie biz. Doesn't work in a rational, predictable manner."[50]

Conclusion
That's pretty much all that was covered on the world wide web. Right now, there is still no approved script or set release date for the film, though Johnny Depp and Jerry Bruckheimer are set to return with directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg. Any further announcements could take place in the next several months, maybe a year. But as always, remember that none of these rumors have been confirmed by Disney or Bruckheimer, so take it all with a grain of salt. Visit official Disney websites or Jerry Bruckheimer's sites for more news and updates.

On Stranger Tides left us with several questions, some that may not be answered at all. How will Jack get his beloved Black Pearl out the bottle? Will Barbossa learn that Jack has the Pearl? And will Philip and Syrena take part in Jack's adventure? And what about Angelica having the Voodoo doll? The only certain thing is that the far-off horizon beckons with promises of new treasures to be had. Let's hope to know more about it on a later date.

To quote Captain Jack himself, One can only hope. Stay tuned for more updates!

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