New writing team boards next Pirates of the Caribbean
In February it was revealed that Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick had abandoned ship on Walt Disney Pictures’ next installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, abandoning plans for a “punk rock” overhaul of the aging IP. Now The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the sixth film in the series has brought onboard screenwriters Ted Elliott and Craig Mazin to crack the story.
Elliott is a veteran of the Pirates films, having penned the first four movies with his former partner Terry Rossio from 2003 to 2011. He also wrote the original Aladdin, The Mask of Zorro, Shrek and the more recent dud The Lone Ranger. Mazin is no stranger to franchise work, having penned Scary Movie 3 & 4, The Hangover Part II & III and The Huntsman: Winter’s War. He recently earned accolades for writing HBO’s hit miniseries Chernobyl, and also co-hosts the podcast Scriptnotes with John August.
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.
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. This success spawned four sequels which, though generally declining in critical reception, were still box office hits, with the second and fourth installments grossing over $1 billion each at the global box office.
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