The Pirates of the Caribbean reboot has hit some choppy water, as writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have reportedly jumped ship. Sources told Deadline that Reese and Wernick, who wrote Deadpool 1 and 2, have left the Disney project.
Disney film boss Sean Bailey originally said Reese and Wernick were planning to “make Pirates punk rock again” and give the series the “kick in the pants” it needed to revitalize itself.
There is no word on why Reese and Wernick bailed from the new Pirates movie. Sources told Deadline that Disney is not sure of what will happen next. Some said Disney is already searching for new writers, while other claimed the movie and the franchise overall is now on hold.
The latest instalment was 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which, while not the most successful entry in the series, made more than $790 million worldwide. All together, the five Pirates movies have made more than $4.5 billion worldwide to date. The franchise is also a merchandise juggernaut; Deadline said Pirates merchandise has generated $2.5 billion.
The new Pirates movie, if it ever gets made, may not feature the franchise’s biggest star: Johnny Depp. The actor played Captain Jack Sparrow in all of the movies so far, but a report from 2017 claimed that the new movie might be made without him.
As for Reese and Wernick, their first big hit was Zombieland, and they are coming back to write the sequel, Double Tap, which arrives in theatres later this year. Reese and Wernick also wrote G.I. Joe Retaliation, starring The Rock, before entering a new stratosphere of success with Deadpool and its sequel.