Disney's long term plans for this franchise is that they want POTC to be for little boys what Disney Princess has become for little girls. Which is why the company spent tens of millions of dollars over the past few years developing that "Pirates of the Caribbean Online" massively-multiplayer game. And why Disney Press will be rolling out a brand-new "Pirates" book series -- "Legends of the Brethren Court" -- this Fall.
But that said ... All you have to do is drop WDW Property Control and see all of those racks & racks of severely-discounted-and-yet-still-unsold "Pirates" merch ... And then you realize that the Mouse severely over-estimated the public's desire for more POTC paraphernalia back in 2006 & 2007. That supply definitely exceeded demand.
This is why the company is now pulling back its "Pirates" -related efforts a bit. As they try and get some sense of what fans of this new Disney franchise really want. Other than -- of course -- to see "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" released to theaters ASAP.
Speaking of that eagerly anticipated film ... Earlier today, I spoke with some friends in Development at Disney Studios. And given that "Pirates" director Gore Verbinski just signed to do "Bioshock" for Universal ... It looks like the Black Pearl won't be setting sail again anytime soon.
Mind you, Disney could do "Pirates 4" with another director ... I guess. But given that Johnny Depp -- in all of the interviews that he did for "At World's End" last year -- was very emphatic about how he'd only agree to do another POTC movie if Verbinski and the series writers -- Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio -- were also on board. So to Johnny's way of thinking: No Gore? No more "Pirates" pictures.
I have to say, I think they're missing a trick in aiming all their merchandise at little boys! They should think more along the lines of Star Wars in the 70s, and sell to the big kids too. ;)
And while I admire JD's loyalty... Mate, you have to lose Ted and Terry. PotC4 would need something fresh, something exciting - and a plot that wasn't holed below the water line!