After Three Failed Attempts, Pirates of the Caribbean Is Getting Yet Another Reboot

The seas are calling. Again.

Disney Pictures

Once Disney launches a franchise, it doesn’t stop milking it for sequels, remakes, and spinoffs until there’s simply no more content to be made. There’s no better example than Pirates of the Caribbean, a film franchise inspired by a Disneyland ride. The first movie was an old-school seafaring adventure that introduced the world to Johnny Depp’s smarmy and eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow, a character who grew to dominate the franchise.

But now, seven years after the last installment, the Pirates series is apparently seeking a fresh start. What would that look like, and could it be enough to right the ship? recently asked producer Jerry Bruckheimer about the status of two legacy franchises he’s working with, Pirates of the Caribbean and Top Gun. Bruckheimer compared and contrasted the two series before revealing that the path for Pirates doesn’t include yet another sequel. “We’re gonna reboot Pirates,” he said, “so that is easier to put together because you don’t have to wait for certain actors.”

Back in 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl turned a theme park ride into a crowd-pleasing swashbuckler.

Walt Disney Pictures

This development is surprising considering the fifth and latest movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales, set up another sequel with a post-credits scene featuring Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), and Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). There’s no word as to who could appear in Pirates 6, but Bruckheimer’s statement seems to suggest an all-new cast.

The franchise’s future has been a bit of a touchy subject. After the release of Dead Men Tell No Tales in 2017, a reboot sixth film was announced, with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writing team behind the Deadpool movies, providing the script. However, the two exited the project in 2019. Barbie star Margot Robbie was briefly supposed to star in yet another reboot, but she later said the project was canceled (Jerry Bruckheimer insisted otherwise, and now here we are).

Dead Men Tell No Tales attempted a soft reboot by adding new characters, but it didn’t stick.

Walt Disney Pictures

The last we heard of a firm direction for the franchise was in 2023, when The Last of Us co-showrunner Craig Mazin revealed he wrote a script with longtime Pirates screenwriter Ted Elliot. This is presumably the reboot Bruckheimer is discussing, but details don’t go far beyond Mazin describing it to the Los Angeles Times as “weird.”

The future of Pirates may still be a bit of a mystery, but at least now there’s a clear direction: a new era with new characters. Hopefully, it can recapture the magic of the swashbuckling ghost story that kicked this all off, before the ship was steered into ever-choppier waters.

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