It’s hard to find anyone who much likes the second and third films in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise — though actually, we maintain that both “Dead Man’s Chest” and “At World’s End” are infinitely more interesting than the majority of blockbusters. Nevertheless, the fourth movie, the even-more-loathed (and correctly so) “On Stranger Tides,” proved to be a giant hit, riding international goodwill towards Johnny Depp and 3D-boosted ticket prices to become a billion-dollar grosser, despite being by some distance the lowest-grosser of the series domestically.
So it’s no surprise that Disney have been pressing forward with a sequel for some time, with a script from “Catch Me If You Can” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdo of the Crystal Skull” pensmith Jeff Nathanson, and a release date long since set in stone. And a few weeks back a shortlist of directors emerged, including “Snow White and the Huntsman“‘s Rupert Sanders, and Frederik Bond, helmer of “The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman.” But it looks like neither landed the gig, as Deadline reported that the gig has in fact gone to Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, who directed the Oscar-nominated based-in-fact adventure “Kon-Tiki.”
The Norwegian duo (who go by the name Roenberg, a combination of their surnames) have been successful commercial directors for some time, and made their feature debut with the little-seen Luc Besson-produced western “Bandidas,” which starred Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz. But their movie career got a giant boost with “Kon-Tiki,” the story of Thor Heyerdahl’s expedition from Peru to Polynesia on a primitive raft, which went down a storm on the festival circuit, picking up a Best Foreign Language Oscar nomination.
On the surface, it’s a little surprising that Disney have given their crown jewel to relatively unproven hands, but their background in commercials probably gave the studio some faith. It remains to be seen whether there’s anything more to their hire than ‘they made a movie on a boat before,’ but it’s certainly a better pick than Rob Marshall, whose handling of “On Stranger Tides” was borderline inept. As yet, there are no details of what the plot for ‘Pirates 5’ will entail, but it’ll probably at some point involve Jack Sparrow dicking around up a mast. The film will open on July 10th, 2015.