September 21, 2009

Cook’s departure may sink ‘Pirates 4′

Johnny Depp says he may not star in a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film after all, now that Dick Cook is no longer boss at Disney.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is to be directed by Rob Marshall and is set to hit theaters in 2011.

The screenplay for the fourth installment in the franchise is being penned by Ted Eliot and Terry Rossio, the team that wrote the first three blockbusters, which have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide.

Total Film quoted Depp as saying he initially agreed to play loopy, scene-stealing pirate Jack Sparrow in the movies at Cook's behest and is reconsidering his position now that Cook's gone. Depp said he is waiting to see the screenplay before deciding whether to commit to the project.

The Los Angeles Times reported during the weekend that Cook was leaving the company after 38 years because the studio told him it wanted to go in a different direction.

The move reportedly came after Disney's offerings in the past year, including G-Force, Race to Witch Mountain and Bedtime Stories, yielded disappointing ticket sales at the box office.