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Disney plans to shoot “Pirates” parts 5 and 6 back-to-back

By Sean O’Connell Johnny Depp has set sail once again as Capt. Jack Sparrow for a fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, but we’re finding out today that his sea-faring journey might last longer than initially thought.

HitFix broke the news this morning that Disney “has begun quietly telling cast and crew to set aside a major block of time in the very near future so they can shoot ‘Pirates 5’ and ‘Pirates 6’” back to back.

Drew McWeeny assumes the studio’s happy with Rob Marshall’s “On Stranger Tides,” and will follow the production model established in the first trilogy of filming parts two and three of the second trilogy at the same time and releasing them separately. He explains that the intense production schedule seemed to burn out original director Gore Verbinski, but acknowledged that it’s the most financially viable way for Disney to turn a profit on three more “Pirates” pictures.

So when all is said and done, we will have six “Pirates” films in the collection. Who would have imagined this franchise would be the one that defines Depp, as he no doubt will be associated with Sparrow for the duration of his career.

It’s unclear when Disney plans to lens these additional “Pirates” sequels, or if Marshall will stay on to direct. For now, we know “On Stranger Tides” opens on May 20, 2011. I wonder if it will end with a cliffhanger, or any sort of tease as to which direction parts 5 and 6 will head?

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