Rossio Addresses Pirates 4 Budget Cut Report

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Remember this report by the Los Angeles Times about budget cuts for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides? Co-writer Terry Rossio has reponded on his message boards saying that it’s a non-story:

This is a great example of entertainment reporting, and has been the source of much amusement around the production offices.

Here’s what really happened. An LA Times reporter decided (ahead of any facts) to write a story about cutbacks on summer movies, Pirates in particular. He then managed to get a general interview or two. In the course of the interview, like any responsible studio or producer, people maintained they were trying to get the best movie possible at a reasonable price. Imagine that.

The reporter then had just enough credibility to write a story with a slant.

No need for the facts to get in the way. My guess is the budget on P4 will be higher than P1, in the realm of P2, and lower than P3. (And the difference there has more to do with the difficulty of shooting two movies, deadlines, hurricanes, tank issues, multiple star salaries, and myriad other details.) Hard to even tell, as the budget on P4 contains various tax deferments, and the decision has still not been made to shoot in 3D. Actually, the budget on P4 isn’t even set yet, so really, there is nothing to report.

The truth is, the studio and everyone involved fought just as hard to lower the budgets of P1, P2, and P3 as they are on P4. Nothing has changed. Are there budget meetings on P4 to look for ways to get the most for the money? Of course. Same as on every film. It’s a complete non-story. But now the ‘spin’ is out there, sure to be repeated.

Directed by Rob Marshall, “On Stranger Tides” stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Stephen Graham, Astrid Berg├Ęs-Frisbey and Sam Claflin. It is scheduled for a May 20, 2011 release.