Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Still on Course, Minus Major Names

Been missing pirate-mania what with all the vampire stuff that’s popped up in recent years? Well, if so, don’t worry, because Disney is going forward with a fourth movie in the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Titled Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the movie will carry on with the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow. Rob Marshall, who directed Chicago and Nine will be helming this title taking over for Gore Verbinski who directed the original trilogy. But fear not, because at least two major names are definitely returning: Geoffrey Rush will be return as Barbossa and, yes, it’s true, Johnny Depp will once again portray Captain Jack Sparrow. Because, really, who else COULD play Jack Sparrow?

Oh, and should I mention that the rumored plot introduces steampunk elements into the franchise?

However, during the Sundance Film Festival, at least two major names from the previous films confirmed they won’t be returning.

Orlando Bloom, who played William Turner, has passed on appearing in On Stranger Tides. Bloom’s decision not to return, however, is not based on any sort of animosity. “I had a great time making those movies. I just really wanted to do different things, but I think it’s going to be great. Whatever Johnny does, I think it’s fantastic.” Bloom’s reason for leaving was mostly because he wants to try other roles.

Of course, this kind of makes sense. Considering that at the end of the third film, At World’s End, Will takes over as captain of the Flying Dutchman, his character would likely be busy ferrying the dead about. Orlando even said “I think Will is sort of swimming around with the fish at the bottom of the ocean.”

Kiera Knightly has also confirmed she won’t be returning as Elizabeth Turner. But like Bloom, it has nothing to do with disliking the experience. “It was a completely fantastic experience, and it was an amazingly large portion of my life, but I don’t think I need to go there again. I think that it’s done.” Knightly even added “I’m very excited to see the next one. And [Johnny Depp] is so wonderful in that character. I think it’ll be wonderful.”

Filming is rumored to be starting this coming summer, so hopefully we’ll have another piratical adventure by 2011.

What do you think about a 4th Pirates movie? And one without Will and Elizabeth?