Craig Mazin recently told the Los Angeles Times that the script for “Pirates of the Caribbean 6” is so weird he is surprised Disney actually bought it. Variety reported in summer 2020 that Disney was in early development on two “Pirates” movies: A reboot led by Margot Robbie and a sixth film in the original franchise written by Mazin and Ted Elliott, the latter of whom co-wrote the first four “Pirates” movies.
“We pitched it and thought there’s no way they’re buying it, it’s too weird,” Mazin said. “And they did! And then he wrote a fantastic script and the strike happened and everyone’s waiting around.”
The last “Pirates” movie, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” opened in 2017. Robbie told Vanity Fair last November that her movie, written by “Birds of Prey” scribe Christina Hodson, had been dropped, adding, “We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led — not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story — which we thought would’ve been really cool. But I guess they don’t want to do it.”
Franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer then clarified that the script for Robbie’s “Pirates” will “come forward at a certain point.” He said the project wasn’t completely dead, but that Disney was prioritizing Mazin and Elliot’s script instead. The plot for that “Pirates” film remains under wraps, and it’s anyone’s guess if it involves the return of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. Hollywood has shut out Depp in recent years amid legal troubles and his 2022 libel trial against Amber Heard.
Bruckheimer expressed uncertainty over Depp returning to the “Pirates” franchise when asked about it by The Sunday Times in May 2022. “[Will Johnny Depp be back?] Not at this point,” he said at the time. “The future is yet to be decided.”
Mazin is best known currently as the co-creator of HBO’s Emmy-nominated “The Last of Us,” but he has a handful of experience scripting Hollywood sequels such as “The Hangover II,” “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” and more.
The previous “Pirates” movies, all starring Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, grossed $1.5 billion domestically and $3.07 billion internationally. The domestic total for 2017’s “Dead Men Tell No Tales” hit $172 million, while foreign markets delivered $622 million. All five “Pirates” films have grossed more than $650 million worldwide, with “Dead Man’s Chest” and “On Stranger Tides” both topping the $1 billion mark.