Disney are really winning at the franchise game right now, what with Star Wars re-starting with a new trilogy and anthology movies, and Marvel chucking out at least 3 films a year. So it's no surprise that they're returning to one of their biggest sellers for yet another big sequel pay day. As you probably know already, [Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales](tag:586017) has started its long voyage to our screens, and is coming into port in July 2017.
After Pirates of the Caribbean 4 marked a drop in box office figures and was panned by critics, many hoped that Disney would hang up their cutlass and let the franchise rest. The plot was shaky, and the new characters failed to chime with viewers. It was fun, but On Stranger Tides didn't match up to the standard of the first trilogy. But with ghost pirates and Orlando Bloom's return, could Pirates of the Caribbean 5 herald a return to the quality of the original film? Or are Disney just trying to repeat past successes?
From Ghost Story to Mythology
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl emulated the theme park ride it was based on by being, at heart, a pirate ghost story, complete with skeleton-ghost-zombie things, which set it apart from being just another pirate flick. Since then, the Pirates of the Caribbean mythology has expanded, dealing with every sea-faring legend from Davy Jones to terrifying ocean goddesses. But for those that miss the ghost story element of the first film, you're in luck!
The official synopsis of the Pirates of the Caribbean 5 has revealed that the story will return to its spooky origins.
"When the villainous Captain Salazar (Bardem) and his army of deadly ghost pirates and threaten to kill every living pirate, Jack Sparrow (Depp) must go on an adventure to find the Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that gives its possessor complete control over the seas."
Dead Men Tell No Tales seems to be blending ghost stories with the mystical mythology style of the latest movies, as Jack Sparrow (sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow) hunts down this magical trident. Is this a way to tie the styles together? Or are Disney trying to repeat Curse Of The Black Pearl?
With Orlando Bloom officially reprising his role of Will Turner, it looks like we're getting a bit of a reunion, but what will this mean for the franchise? Rumours about Johnny Depp being replaced by Bloom are flying, of course, though many are wondering if Will Turner's character has enough depth to carry the film series.
Unfortunately, we've had no word about Keira Knightley coming back, which is a shame. With Will tending to his duties as Davy Jones, it would seem more logical to follow Elizabeth's story as she balances being a mother with being the Pirate King. Her absence from the story does seem to be a personal choice on Keira Knightley's part though...
"My time has definitely passed, I loved it, it was an amazing experience but I won't be going back."
Maybe this will prevent Pirates of the Caribbean 5 being too much of a rehash of the original film. We've got lots of interesting new characters, and with Kaya Scodelario ready to take the helm as the franchise's new leading lady, some new blood will probably help revitalise the movies. Not to mention Brenton Thwaites as the mysterious son of Davy Jones... but which Davy Jones?! If he is Will Turner's son then we'll be facing a 20 year time jump which would be ambitious.
Setting Sail for New Ideas
While a ghostly pirate army does herald a nice return to that spooky feel of Curse Of The Black Pearl, it begs the question: are Disney running out of ideas? Maybe they should pull the story back to focus on the pirates themselves, rather than trying to repeat the original premise and tying it into the overarching mythology.
It would be fantastic to see more of an ensemble piece, with a story driven by group dynamic and a budding pirate crew learning to work together, instead of Johnny Depp flailing his arms at different threats. Seeing the return of minor characters like Zoe Saldana's Anne Marie would also be fantastic, especially considering the actress' success since Curse Of The Black Pearl. Or maybe it's time to see some other famous pirate captains from real life! I would personally kill to see Lucy Liu as a young Ching Shih, the veritable empress of piracy who commanded a 300 junk strong armada. Ching did appear in At World's End but there's far more of her story to tell... prequel, anyone?
Whatever Disney has in store for Pirates of the Caribbean 5 it better be good: audiences are only going to be interested in this story for so long. But what do you think? Should the franchise continue on a different route with all new characters? Or should Jack Sparrow continue his adventures on the high seas? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!