By Missy Schwartz
Updated July 31, 2009 at 08:07 PM EDT

According to Variety‘s Michael Fleming, Rob Marshall is in talks to take over helming duties from Gore Verbinski on a fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Marshall, who directed the upcoming star-studded musical Nine and the Oscar-winning Chicago,would be stepping in for Verbinski, who in April decided to focus on a big-screen adaptation of the videogame Bioshock instead of another reunion with Captain Jack Sparrow. Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are apparently keen to get production up and running in 2010, before Depp (who is returning as Captain Jack) begins work on The Lone Ranger. According to Fleming, “While Marshall’s involvement wasn’t immediately confirmed, sources said things look good enough that the studio has begun casting new characters that will appear in the picture.”