Pirates 4 May Put Lone Ranger On Hold

So says Jerry Bruckheimer - aaaar!

Looks like The Lone Ranger may be knocking around on his tod for a bit longer, if those pesky Pirates Of The Caribbean have anything to do with it.

Those lovely folks over at Hitfix spoke to uber-producer Jezza ‘Jerry’ Bruckheimer, and tackled him about his busy schedule, which involves producing both a fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie, and a new big-screen version of The Lone Ranger.

Both films, of course, are set up over at Disney, and both films have Mr. Johnny Depp attached to star, as Captain Jack Sparrow and Tonto respectively, and despite the fact that The Lone Ranger seemed to be first in the queue, given that Mike Newell had been in talks to direct, while Pirates 4 is currently without a director, Jezza told Hitfix that is no longer the case.

“Disney’s priority is to get Pirates made,” he said. “That's a great franchise for them and for us too. Beloved, with a great character and Johnny's really excited about coming back to Captain Jack."

Jezza then went on to reveal that he’s already seen some script pages for Pirates 4, and seemed to confirm that the movie will take the series in a completely new, Captain Jack-centric direction, with nary a Keira nor Orlando to be seen. This is A Good Thing, for Pirates 2 and 3 seemed to forget that Depp’s drunken rogue was the reason the first movie was such an enormous hit.

But the revelation that The Lone Ranger will be delayed, for God knows how long, is intriguing. Clearly, Depp can’t make both movies at once, so something had to give, but the early word from Disney had been that Pirates 4 would aim for a 2012 release. Bruckheimer’s comments would seem to confirm that that process has been accelerated – possibly because of the whole end of the world thing.

For more from Bruckheimer, including his views on whether Gore Verbinski might return to direct Pirates 4 after all, click here to visit those Hitfix scoundrels.