Disney is reportedly planning fifth and sixth installments in the lucrative "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise with the aim of shooting the blockbusters back-to-back, according to Hitfix.
Apparently, Disney has quietly begun telling cast and crew to leave their schedules open in the very near future for the massive shoot.
A Disney spokesperson told TheWrap that the studio "isn't commenting" on the rumors, besides the fact that Disney is "very excited" about Rob Marshall's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," which is scheduled to wash ashore on May 20, 2011.
Director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer filmed "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" back-to-back after the surprise success of the original film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl."
"Pirates" star Johnny Depp has already committed to filming Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" and Verbinski's "The Lone Ranger" in 2011, so it remains unclear when the Oscar-nominated actor will be able to fit the "POTC" sequels into his absurdly busy schedule.
Hitfix expects Disney to set sail on the ambitious sequel plan after Depp wraps his role as Tonto in the studio's "Lone Ranger," but the question remains whether screenwriters Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott will write two original scripts, or Disney will base the upcoming sequels on previously-written material, as "Stranger Tides" is based on a novel by Tim Powers.