Earlier this week, there was a story from the Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas posted on Jim Hill’s Blog claiming that Jerry Bruckheimer and Walt Disney Pictures had chosen a director to helm The Lone Ranger, which would star Johnny Depp as Tonto, and that the movie would push the planned Pirates of the Caribbean 4 back.
ComingSoon.net had a chance to catch up with Bruckheimer this week and ask him about the status of both projects, having been over six months since our last update. Currently, the producer is in the middle of filming The Sorcerer’s Apprentice with Jon (National Treasure) Turteltaub in New York City, while Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is well into its post-production, with both movies scheduled for release in the summer of 2010.
That doesn’t mean that those other projects aren’t in development, but Bruckheimer told us that for Disney, the priority is most definitely “Pirates.” “It’s a great franchise for them and for us, too,” he said. “A beloved character and Johnny’s really excited about coming back to Captain Jack. He certainly is interested in Tonto, but Disney’s priority is to get ‘Pirates’ made first. You never know what’s going to happen, but they would like it.”
Bruckheimer shared that the original writers, Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot, were “writing ‘Pirates’ as we speak,” and he said it was “funny” and a “whole new way of going” although he wouldn’t share more than that.
Since Gore Verbinski recently announced that he may not direct a movie based on the video game BioShock, we asked Bruckheimer if there was a chance he might return for a fourth movie. “You never know,” he admitted. “He created the franchise so we’d love to have him back, but it’s kind of up to him.”
That led us to wonder what the status of The Lone Ranger really was, since other than Johnny Depp as Tonto, no casting for the lead character has been announced; we asked whether that information might be forthcoming. His response was that they were going to “wait until they got a director and Disney says to go make the movie,” essentially denying earlier stories that “Prince of Persia” director Mike Newell was in talks to direct the movie. “We don’t have a director yet. He’s too busy on ‘Prince of Persia’ right now,” Bruckheimer confirmed.