I just spent the last six and a half hours in the Kodak Theater in Hollywood watching Disney’s big keynote event. So the next few stories will be about the big announcements that came out of the presentation.

Johnny Depp has been cast in the upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer produced adaptation of the classic old-time radio and early television show The Lone Ranger created by George W. Trendle. The series followed a masked Texas Ranger in the Old West who rights injustices with the aid of his native American assistant, Tonto. He gallops along on his white horse Silver. The character’s signature quote is “Hi-yo, Silver, away!” Depp will play Tonto. Pirates of the Caribbean writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio have been writing the script. No start or release dates have been announced.

Depp must have signed a multi-picture deal with the studio, because it was also announced that the actor would play The Madd Hatter in Tim Burton‘s 3D part live-action, part computer animated adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Principal photography is set to begin in November, with a March 5th 2010 release date previously announced. Concept art from the film was shown, showing the classic Alice in Wonderland scenes done in Tim Burton style, complete with curved and slanted corners. Everything is really stylized. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb have huge heads, and are shaped like upward missiles. None of the characters look like a dramatic departure from the traditional designs.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Richard W. “Dick” Cook announced “How about another pirates movie!?” signaling that Depp was now signed for Pirates of the Caribbean 4.

Discuss: What do you think of the choice of Depp as The Lone Ranger or Madd Hatter? Do we really need another Pirates film?

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

DisneyA tipster at AICN claims to have inside knowledge Disney’s plan to make 2011 a year of sequels. Again, none of this is confirmed, but let’s take a look at what we know so far about the projects mentioned:

TRON 3D: It was reported last year that Commercial director Joseph Kosinski was in talks to direct “the next chapter” of TRON, although we’ve heard this isn’t necessarily a sequel (you can check out some of Kosinski’s commercial work here). Word is that Disney is shooting to release the film in Digital Disney 3D in Sprint 2011.

Cars 2: We’ve heard rumblings of a Cars sequel for the last couple years, and according to this report, Disney is shooting for a 2011 release. I find it hard to believe that Disney/Pixar really wants another Cars film, considering it took in less at the box office than Pixar’s previous efforts. Brad Bird also spoke of how sequels was not in Pixar’s business plan, while speaking at WonderCon 2007:

“At Pixar, the bottom line is the story that you’re telling. And Pixar does not look at sequels as a financial plan. We feel we have a relation ship with the audience and that they believe in each movie we put out. We believe completely in every movie we put out. If I can come up with a story that is as good or better than that first film, then I’d love to return to that world, but it would have to be story first.”

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: Disney has been developing a fourth film in the Pirates franchise following the release of At World’s End. Rumor has it that the new film will be a spin-off following Captain Jack Sparrow, the character played by Johnny Depp. Many have speculated that Depp will be on a journey to find either the lost city of Atlantis or a more contained budget-friendly search for the Fountain of Youth. I’m sure Disney is eyeing a late May, June or early July release as that was the release schedule for Black Pearl, World’s End and Dead Man’s Chest.

National Treasure 3: And while the AICN tipster knows only of a possible 2011 release date, Jim Hill reported last month on a plot description making the rounds: “which would supposedly send the Gates family off to Easter Island and beyond in search of Atlantis. More importantly, the pure, clean power source that was supposedly lost forever when this ancient civilization sank beneath the sea. Which – were it to be harnessed today – would immediately put an end to global warming. Not to mention making gas & oil obsolete.” Could this be the information hidden on Page 47 of the President’s book? The first two National Treasure films were released in November/December, to take advantage of the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays, so plan for Disney to repeat this formula.

Spider-Man

Variety has an interesting article on the scheduling of the upcoming summer tentpoles for the next three years. The article claims that Sony Pictures will announce a Summer 2010 release date for the 23rd James Bond film. The next Bond film, tentatively titled Bond 22, will go into production later this year aiming for a November 7th 2008 release.

The article also says that Sony will nab a Summer 2009 release date for Green Hornet. And 2010 is starting to look a lot like this Summer: very crowded. Potentially Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Spider-Man 4, Shrek 4, and Harry Potter 7 could be just some of the big blockbuster movies filling the slate.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Last time we told you that Disney was considering a spin-off for Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Today Cinemablend confirms our previous reports. Their scooper claims:

“the ending of Pirates 3, the fountain of youth story might not be the only story they might used the next pirate’s film. The fountain story could used in another form to introduce the story for Pirates 4… the next film might be a departure from the same formula of the last three movies as well, meaning that Jerry Bruckheimer could be planning to enter the realm of Science Fiction this time around and it could be the heart of a new trilogy with Jack Sparrow and his crew of misfits. Some of the brainstorming going around involves some Jules Verne type of scenarios involving some pretty big flying machines, a man who wants to rule more than just the ocean, a encounter with the most famous and dangerous pirate of all, a race to get to a lost world (Hint, Hint) and Jack and his crew going to where no pirate has gone before (No, its not space but Disney had made animated movie about this place before with Michel J Fox voicing one of the characters).”

I wonder how credible CB’s source could be if he can’t even spell Michael J. Fox’s name right. Anyway, let’s pretend that he has some inside information. What is the Disney flick the scooper alludes to? Atlantis: The Lost Empire. That’s right, Captain Jack could be in search for the lost world of Atlantis. Although, I’m not sure about the whole “big flying machines” idea. One thing is for sure, any storyline involving Depp’s Captain Jack will immediately capture my interest.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Update: Pirates of the Caribbean 4 to Follow Captain Jack’s Search For Atlantis?

Despite not breaking Spidey’s record and some questionable accounting, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is another blockbuster success. And while the creative people involved have said that it is the last film in the trilogy, which might spin-off into future films (one of which is hinted in the last act of the film), nothing is guaranteed. Johnny Depp has said he would be game (but really, who could turn down a $40-50 million payday?), and the screenwriters have expressed interest. But now producer Jerry Bruckheimer is expressing some doubt about continuing the franchise.

Read More »

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Might Be a Spin-Off

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Might be a Spin-Off

Update [5/30/07]: Will Disney Greenlight Pirates of the Caribbean 4: The Fountain of Youth?

Update [6/20/07]: Pirates of the Caribbean 4 to Follow Captain Jack’s Search For Atlantis?

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is inevitable. The question is how soon, and who will be involved. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer told The Herald Sun that a fourth Pirates film might be a spin-off.

“This is the end [of the current trilogy], but whether one of the characters or a couple of the characters continue on, it’s a possibility. Certainly, in a moment at the end of the film there is a hope that something else might happen.”

But does anyone want to watch a Pirates of the Caribbean film without Johnny? And would anyone really be interested in watching a movie which follows Will Turner or Elizabeth Swann? Fear not, I’ve heard recently that Johnny Depp is interested in doing a sequel. So this might just be a false alarm.

Update: Will Disney Greenlight Pirates of the Caribbean 4: The Fountain of Youth?

Update [6/20/07]: Pirates of the Caribbean 4 to Follow Captain Jack’s Search For Atlantis?

Pirates

Johnny Depp has told Disney that he would be willing to return for a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, but now word comes that director Gore Verbinski (who helmed the three previous films) is uninterested in helming the project.

Read More »

Pirates 3

Pirates of the Caribbean series screenwriter Terry Rossio admits that a fourth film may be in the works, like it or not.
Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web: