Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Disney has moved off its summer 2015 release date with Pirates Of The Caribbean 5, and the studio is now looking to slot it for summer 2016. This will create some jockeying from other studios next summer – Pirates had been slated for a July 10 release and other studios steered clear of that date — but I’m told from insiders this is not a case where they are hoisting a distress flag.

Basically, the studio and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have an advanced outline from scribe Jeff Nathanson, who is writing. They have directors Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg, who did a great job with a modest budget on Kon-Tiki, but who are new to the big scale of a film like Pirates. The studio would have to get into production by February, which would mean prepping off the outline.

The decision was made that it wasn’t worth rushing until they are sure the script is right. Why not take the time to do a proper job with one of Disney’s most important tentpoles? The first four films grossed $3.7 billion, and the last installment, On Stranger Tides, crossed the $1 billion mark. Disney has plenty for summer 2015 anyway. There is a sequel to The Avengers and the first of the next three installments of the Star Wars franchise, directed by JJ Abrams. There is also the Marvel pic Ant-Man, and Inside Out from Pixar.

Johnny Depp is firmly committed to return to his Jack Sparrow role, but even he can use the extra time as he is starring in Into The Woods and Alice In Wonderland 2. There is nothing wrong with waiting to get the script and budget right before going forward. It might be a way to avoid all the drama that went into this summer’s The Lone Ranger, which temporarily had its plugged pulled because of a runaway budget. That budget escalated anyway, and the film became one of the costliest money-losing casualties of the summer season and a big write-down for the studio.

“Like audiences around the globe, we have high expectations for Jack Sparrow’s next adventure and we want to have all the right elements in place,” said Disney production president Sean Bailey. “We’re not there yet and we want to make sure this project is everything these wonderful characters and of course the fans deserve.”