Pirates of the Caribbean may set sail once again. Disney has hired veteran Pirates scribe Ted Elliott and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin to develop a story for a new Pirates adventure feature.
The move is designed to propel fresh wind into Pirates, one of the largest-hauling film franchises of all time, which introduced hard-luck and hard-drinking pirate Jack Sparrow into Disney fandom and pop culture. But it’s also a franchise that, after five installments, was encountering headwinds. Star Johnny Depp’s waning fortunes, on- and offscreen, didn’t help.
The studio had taken steps toward developing a reboot in late 2018 when it hired Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to write a script that was designed to “give it a kick in the pants,” according to Disney. But Reese and Wernick ended up exiting in early 2019, leaving the project in dry dock since.
The hiring of Elliott and Mazin puts Pirates in the early stages of development, with the duo tasked to find a direction and story. it is unclear at this stage if Sparrow would return as a character or if Depp would return as actor.
Jerry Bruckheimer is expected to once again be at the helm as producer. Elliott knows his way around the Seven Seas, having co-written the 2003 original, The Curse of the Black Pearl, and subsequent three installments (Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, On Stranger Tides) with then-partner Terry Rossio.
Mazin established himself in the comedy world with installments of Scary Movie and the Hangover movies, but it was with this year’s Emmy-winning and buzzy HBO miniseries Chernobyl that he found acclaim for his dramatic voice.