Disney sets writers Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Ted Elliott (Pirates 1-4) to develop a reboot of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise.
Disney has set a pair of new writers to work on a reboot of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise. This is the second time in the last twelve months the Mouse House has tried to get a reboot of its Disney Park attraction-turned swashbuckling blockbuster franchise up and going. Deadpool cowriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were originally approached for the job in October last year, but they formally passed back in February.
The Pirates brand made the jump to the big screen with 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a surprise smash-hit that earned great reviews, grossed over $654 million at the box office, and even landed an Oscar nomination for Johnny Depp’s performance as the incorrigible, rum-loving buccaneer Jack Sparrow. Disney has since released four sequels that, combined with The Curse of the Black Pearl, have brought in over $4.5 billion worldwide in theaters. However, the last two entries in particular (On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales) were greeted with flat-out negative reviews and suffered from diminishing ticket sales domestically.
As such, Disney is once again trying to get the flailing franchise back on-track. THR reports the studio has recruited Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott to write the story for a Pirates movie reboot, after their previous attempt with Reese and Wernick (who were never officially attached) failed to pan out. Mazin is coming off the critical success of HBO’s acclaimed Chernobyl miniseries (which he created), whereas Elliot served as a co-writer on the first four Pirates film, but wasn’t involved in writing 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Before he worked on Chernobyl, Mazin was known for writing raunchy comedy sequels like Scary Movie 3 & 4 and The Hangover Part II & III. He also had a hand in writing Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman sequel-spinoff, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and worked on next month’s Charlie’s Angels reboot directed by (and costarring) Elizabeth Banks. Between the acclaim he’s taken home for his dramatic turn on Chernobyl and his previous experience crafting studio comedies and action films, it’s easy to see why Disney saw Mazin as a good pick to try and breathe fresh life into the Pirates of the Caribbean movies series.
Dead Men Tell No Tales featured a post-credits scene that set up the story for Pirates of the Caribbean 6, but after the film’s unflattering critical reception and lower-than-expected box office gross, it only makes sense for Disney to want to wipe the slate clean, instead. And while some fans have even petitioned for Depp to return as Jack Sparrow in a future Pirates movie, that’s probably not going to happen. If his off-screen behavior in the past few years wasn’t reason enough, this new film could save as much as $90 million by not bringing Depp back in the role. Of course, that’s assuming the reboot actually comes together this time, which is far from guaranteed.
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