Disney has rough seas ahead as they navigate their way forward with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. It just isn’t going to be the same journey without the help of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow and his compass to lead the way. Now, though, they have a new avenue for growing any of their franchises with Disney+. While the streaming service gives few details on how their revenue is growing, every decision they’ve been making points to the service being a boon for the studio. Now, they’re about to use their new service as another way to reestablish the franchise with audiences. Thanks to some work from one of our trusted and proven inside sources, we’ve exclusively learned that Disney is developing another Pirates of the Caribbean movie. This project will exclusively release on Disney+.
This is a brand new Pirates project, not one of the two others the studio has previously announced. We were unable to learn what the story behind this new one for the streaming service will be, only that it is a separate project. It will be interesting to see how they decide to tie this new story into the existing franchise. Will they have any of the same characters? Will they mention the characters we know? They have the possibility here to reboot the story and treat it as if the other movies didn’t exist, but since they are making more Pirates of the Caribbean films in the same universe, it would seem like they’ll want to make the stories all connected. This will be harder without Jack Sparrow, but not impossible.
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is in a weird place. The movies have been a big earner for the studio, but most people put Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow as the main draw for audiences. With the actor no longer working with Disney, what is going to compel audiences to watch these movies? How is Disney going to pick this story universe up and say it’s not about Captain Jack Sparrow? Somehow, they need to convince audiences that there is more to love in the Pirates movies, something beyond Johnny Depp, if they want to convince people to see more of these movies. This conundrum seems to have led the studio to one conclusion: throw everything they have at it and see what sticks.
We already knew that they had a direct sequel for the original films with Pirates 6. They also have a separate movie with Margot Robbie in the lead for the franchise. Clearly, Margot Robbie has been a big draw for DC as Harley Quinn, so trying to use her star power for the franchise is a strong move. And now, they’re working on a Pirates of the Caribbean movie intended to go straight to Disney+ for streaming. Right now, Disney’s other projects for Pirates don’t have release dates. It’s entirely possible that if they get moving on development, they could have the Disney+ film up and ready for easy access for audiences before the other movies they’re working on release.
This may do a few things for the franchise, like warm-up audiences to Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp in a lower risk setting on streaming, remind audiences that this franchise is out there during this long gap between theatrical releases, and give the studio another opportunity to find their footing with these movies going forward. As far as a “throw it and see what sticks” strategy goes, this isn’t a terrible idea. It’ll be interesting to see how they balance these three separate movies, and the difference between the streaming and theatrical releases. Will it be enough to make audiences hungry for more Pirates movies going forward? That seems like it will depend on how well-received the movies are.