Pirates Of The Caribbean 4: Rob Marshall directing?

Johnny Depp and his Captain Jack Sparrow character may have an unexpected choice at the helm for Pirates 4…

Captain Jack Sparrow

One of the stories to come out of the recent Comic-Con in San Diego was Disney’s desire to get Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 in front of the cameras next year, in time for a release in the summer of 2011. It seems, though, that this plan isn’t going to include the director of the original trilogy, Gore Verbinski.

Verbinski, who also has The Mexican, The Ring and the marvellous Mouse Hunt on his CV, took a bit of a critical battering for the last two Pirates movies, and was attached to the planned movie of the game Bioshock. However, that project seems to be in turnaround, not aided by the delay of the next Bioshock game until next year, and it was assumed that he may return to steer the Pirates ship.

Yet according to Variety, that’s not the case. Verbinski, it reports, has moved on to other projects, leaving Disney hunting for a new director for Pirates 4. And bizarrely, it may have come up with the name of Rob Marshall for the gig.

Marshall is, to be fair, an Oscar-nominated director. The only problem being that his nomination was for arguably the most overrated Best Picture Oscar winner of recent times, Chicago (although I’ll happily have the A Beautiful Mind argument too if someone wants to?!). In fact, Marshall’s grounding is in musicals, both theatrical and big screen (he’s putting the finishing touches to Nine at the moment, and made a version of Annie for Disney in the late 90s). He did direct the laboured Memoirs Of A Geisha, but an action cinema director he surely isn’t.

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Apparently, talks between Disney and Marshall are reasonably advanced, and the studio has begun the job of casting some of the minor roles in the film. Variety notes that the deal isn’t yet done for the director, but credits sources are suggesting that “things look good”.

Expect, then, some kind of official confirmation in the weeks to come. And then we wait and see if Jack Sparrow gets a big song and dance number in the middle of his fourth adventure…