Johnny Depp Sets Sail on Fourth ‘Pirates’ Movie

Captain Jack Sparrow will soon take to the seas again, and this time he is after the most sought-after treasure imaginable: the Fountain of Youth.

It was announced this week that the fourth installment of Disney’s highly successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise will begin filming in Hawaii this summer. Johnny Depp once again plays the flamboyant Captain Jack, and Geoffrey Rush reprises his role as his adversary, Barbossa. However, costars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are not expected to return.

The film’s story is loosely based on the 1987 pirate novel, “On Stranger Tides” by award-winning fantasy author Tim Powers. The book tells the story of a young man — coincidentally named “Jack” — who is captured by the pirate Blackbeard and forced to join in the search for the Fountain of Youth.

Ted Elliott, the co-writer of the first three “Pirates” movies, said that the story of the novel just happened to align with where they wanted to take the fourth film. He told Empire magazine, “We wanted to do a story about Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth, and Tim Powers wrote a book about Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth… it just turns out that to do that story you would need that book.”

Johnny Depp signed on to appear in the fourth movie in 2008, before there was a script. It was announced at the same time he would also be playing Tonto in a film version of “The Lone Ranger,” but that project has been delayed until after “Pirates” is finished.

Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom have both said they had no desire to return for a fourth movie. Knightley said in an interview, “It was a completely fantastic experience, and it was an amazingly large portion of my life, but I don’t think I need to go there again. I think that it’s done.” Also, the director of the original trilogy, Gore Verbinski, will not be coming back. He is being replaced by Rob Marshall, the director of “Chicago” and “Nine.”

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is scheduled to dock into movie theaters on May 20th, 2011. Johnny Depp will next be seen as the Mad Hatter in director Tim Burton’s new version “Alice in Wonderland” coming this March. To see why he says the role is “a dream come true,” watch the exclusive interview with him in the player below.

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