Though all seemed to be smooth sailing for a fifth outing of the Pirates Of The Caribbean crew, Dead Men Tell No Tales – Jeff Nathanson was writing the script, Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg were aboard to call the shots and Johnny Depp was set to return – the project appears to have hit a squall and now won’t see cinemas in 2015.
Talking to the Hollywood Reporter, producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed that issues with the screenplay are the big sticking point. “We have an outline everyone loves but the script is not done." Given the hefty price tag that comes with a Pirates film and the weight of expectations – coupled with the disappointing returns for The Lone Ranger this year – everyone has decided to take a moment to work on the script before starting to figure out everything else. “It’s all a factor. We want a script that everyone’s signed off on and a budget that everyone’s signed off on. Coming up with a great script is always hard.”
With shooting originally pencilled in for March, pre-production would have kicked off shortly, which is when the cash taps tend to open. With no solid script to work from, departments such as props and VFX would be spending money on elements that might not end up on screen. And since we often complain that, if you're going to spend $150m making the film it's worth spending an extra few drafts on the script, it seems entirely commendable to get a script everyone's happy with before kicking off.
Bruckheimer is hopeful that this will be ready for summer 2016 instead, and moving away from the ultra-crowded 2015 dates seems like a sensible idea. What's more, thanks to Pixar and Marvel, Disney has plenty of other tentpoles to prop up its 2015 summer slate, including Inside Out, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and, as recently announced, Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man.