Drink up, me hearties, yo ho. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 will go before the cameras early-ish next year, according to a chat Coming Soon had with Disney’s Head of Production Oren Aviv at Comic Con.

The Hollywood Reporter ran a story a couple of days ago suggesting that Johnny Depp would be kicking his heels for the immediate future, with none of his pencilled-in projects going anywhere soon. Or as they put it, he was facing “a landscape devoid of go pictures”.

But Aviv seems confident that Depp won’t be lounging around in his pants for too long. “We’re going to shoot Pirates 4 in April and May of next year,” he said, and went on to confirm that it will be the first of a hoped-for new trilogy, but that it will be filmed alone, unlike the back-to-back second and third instalments.

Intriguingly however, it does seem that Part 4 will feel like the start of a genuinely new series, since Aviv revealed the intention is very much to pare the franchise back: “It’s important to me to scale it down, because we can’t get bigger. [The previous films] got very complicated. I want to kind of reboot the whole thing and bring it down to its essence: just characters. It’s important to get the story right.”

No director is confirmed yet, so it won’t necessarily be Gore Verbinski this time, and there will be no Orlando or Kiera. A relaunch on a smaller scale concentrating solely on Cap’n Jack is obviously a smart move for a franchise that was falling over its own feet by part 3, although Aviv wouldn’t be drawn on whether we can expect substantial Sparrow back-story

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