POTC On Stranger Tides
Credit: Peter Mountain

Captain Jack Sparrow will not be gracing the big screen again anytime soon.

The fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was set for a July 10, 2015 release, but due to script and budget issues, Producer Jerry Bruckheimer said today they’ll be pushing the release back at least a year, to the summer of 2016. Walt Disney Studios sent out an update Tuesday specifying that the release date is now listed as “unset” but did not have further comment on the film’s schedule.

Catch Me If You Can scribe Jeff Nathanson is at work on a rewrite of his initial script, but it’s still not in a place that’s workable for a March shoot, Bruckheimer told The Hollywood Reporter. “We have an outline everyone loves but the script is not done,” he said, adding: “How do you budget an outline?”

Longtime Pirates star Johnny Depp is set to return for the project to reprise his role as Jack Sparrow and to work with a new directing team — Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. There is no word on whether Depp’s busy schedule (he’s set to star in several upcoming films, including Disney’s Into the Woods, their un-dated Alice in Wonderland sequel, and Mortdecai) might exaggerate the delay even further.

“Everybody’s more cautious,” Bruckheimer said, after The Lone Ranger disappointed this summer at the box office. “With any movie, you’re never confident. But it’s a billion-dollar franchise.” The first four films have grossed more than $3.7 billion at the box office.

The fifth film, called Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, was already facing stiff competition from the other planned releases for summer 2015, which include the Man of Steel sequel, Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Pixar’s Inside Out.

“The studio has high expectations for the next film,” a studio insider told EW. “We wanted to make sure we had all the right elements in place before we went forward.”

Pirates of the Caribbean 5
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