When Disney CEO Bob Iger makes a conference call, he just lets fly with the information (even if it doesn’t amount to much). In addition to dropping some tidbits about The Incredibles 2 and the time period for Star Wars: Episode VII, Iger casually informed the public that the largely un-anticipated Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has yet to receive the greenlight from Disney.
Like the Star Wars news, the Pirates revelation comes as no great surprise. Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (also known as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) was taken off the 2015 release slate awhile ago, and has since been rumored to be aiming for a 2016 or even 2017 date. Mastermind producer Jerry Bruckheimer has since exited Disney to go to Paramount (though he’s still involved in Pirates), and star Johnny Depp has expressed reservations about returning to the character of Captain Jack Sparrow too soon. His next film for Disney will be Alice in Wonderland sequel Through The Looking Glass, set for a 2016 release. In other words: we’ll see the Mad Hatter before we see Captain Jack.
But just because the next Pirates film hasn’t been greenlit yet does not mean we should give up any hope of it in the future. Certainly a lot of it depends on Depp and his willingness to put those galleon boots back on, but there also needs to be a manageable script and, preferably, one or two new characters to balance out some of the Captain Jack madness. Remember that part of what made the original Pirates of the Caribbean so enjoyable was the fact that Jack Sparrow was not the main character, but part of an ensemble cast.
Of course, we’ll keep an eye on developments on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales as they become available. For now, we’ll just have to make do with the four other films in the franchise.