Disney’s Pirates reboot hits snag as Deadpool writers drop out
Deadline reports that Disney’s upcoming reboot of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has entered dangerous territory as Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the scribes of the acclaimed Deadpool franchise, have exited the project.
The writing duo met with Disney were reportedly hired in October 2018 to pen a reboot for the $7 billion franchise based on the Disneyland ride of the same name, but insiders are now reporting that the two are no longer attached to scripting the sixth entry into the 15-years-old film series.
The studio has been looking for a way to keep the franchise alive following the fifth installment in 2017 which, though ranked as the second lowest-grossing entry in the series globally and the lowest grossing domestically, grossed an impressive $794 million worldwide at the box office. However, following revelations of alleged domestic abuse between star Johnny Depp (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald) and ex-wife Amber Heard (Aquaman) and his ever-ballooning salary, the studio has been considering the reboot option despite most audiences’ love for the franchise going to Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, which even earned him an Oscar nomination for the first installment.
Though Disney film production chief Sean Bailey had very high hopes in the weeks following Reese and Wernick’s involvement in the series, promising a “punk rock” return for the swashbuckling series, the hope has apparently waned in the weeks leading up to the duo’s exit from the series. Insiders report that debates about the future of the Pirates series are underway at Disney, with many trying to find other options with hopes the money will keep floating in while others are arguing for the series to come to an end.
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise began in 2003 with the debut installment, The Curse of the Black Pearl, which received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed almost $700 million at the global box office and earning five Oscar nominations, including Depp for Best Actor (which he lost to Sean Penn for Mystic River). This success spawned four sequels which, though generally declined in critical reception, were still for the most part box office hits, with the second and fourth installments grossing over $1 billion each at the global box office.
While being attached to a multi-billion dollar franchise such as Pirates would seem appealing to any person in Hollywood, Reese and Wernick already have their hands full on a number of projects including the upcoming Michael Bay-helmed Netflix action pic 6 Underground starring Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and a live-action adaptation of the board game Clue, which is also set to star Reynolds. In addition to the upcoming projects, they’ve been behind a number of critical and commercial hits including the Deadpool franchise and the 2009 zombie comedy Zombieland, which will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year with a long-awaited and highly-anticipated sequel featuring the original cast.