While 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales grossed almost $800 million worldwide, that was also the lowest total in the franchise’s history since the very first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl. Critics were even less enthused, with one very prominent reviewer calling it “the sort of sequel that’s so bad it makes you retroactively wonder why you liked the original film so much in the first place.” Meanwhile, bad headlines have followed series star Johnny Depp. A new approach may be in order.

With that in mind, The Hollywood Reporter says that Disney has brought in Ted Elliott, who worked on every Pirates except that one with his writing partner Terry Rossio, and Craig Mazin, the creator of the acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl to find  “a story for a new Pirates adventure feature.”

Reportedly, it’s not been decided yet of Captain Jack Sparrow will be in the film, either played by Johnny Depp or another actor:

The hiring of Elliott and Mazin puts Pirates in the early stages of development, with the duo tasked to find a direction and story. it is unclear at this stage if Sparrow would return as a character or if Depp would return as actor.

Elliott and Mazin replaced Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who were brought in last year to come up with their own Pirates concept that never came together. Now it falls to this new team, including Mazin, who, before his acclaim with the decidedly not-funny Chernobyl was a busy comedy filmmaker who wrote and/or directed Scary Movie 3 and 4Superhero MovieThe Hangover Part II, and Identity Thief. Depp is still an extremely controversial figure, and it’s hard to imagine anyone taking over a role as singular as Captain Jack Sparrow. The Pirates may need a complete overhaul before they set sail again.

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