Who Will Direct ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5?’

Tim Burton, Sam Raimi and Shawn Levy have all made Disney's short list, but who will get the coveted gig?

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

So Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was actually kinda adequate, at least in comparison to the last two Pirates sequels, and although it doesn't seem to be breaking many records it's certainly making a small fortune at the box office so, yeah, sequel. All of that means we're getting a sequel. Certainly Disney is getting the forklifts ready to drop off Depp's new paycheck, but which director will get the lucrative job of directing The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Search for More Money?

Cinema Blend may have the answers: in a new article they claim to have learned the names on Disney's short list to direct Pirates 5. Let's take a look, shall we?

Tim Burton: Cinema Blend describes Burton as Disney's 'dream choice' for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. We don't see it. Burton's a master visual stylist and, obviously, has a good rapport with Johnny Depp but his history with action is spotty, having directed a lot of action movies with mostly underwhelming action sequences. (What, you liked Planet of the Apes?) Burton also has demonstrated difficulty with elevating material beyond hackneyed screenplays, which is something the Pirates franchise could really use right now… or three sequels ago. 

Alfonso Cuaron: The single most encouraging name on the short list, Alfonos Cuaron is best known in most circles as the director who made Harry Potter good. Here's a guy who can elevate material, infusing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with genuine dramatic heft where the Chris Columbus, the franchise's previous director, found only mildly adventurous family movie amusements. And he's clearly not averse to taking over somebody else's franchise. This pick is a real winner. We hope he wins. 

Shawn Levy: Shawn Levy is a director who seems to poised for big, big things, despite a spotty directorial history filled with pap like The Pink Panther, Date Night and the Night at the Museum Movies. He's clearly comfortable with comedy and special effects, but is he any good at them? Not everybody is convinced. However, the buzz on his next feature – the Hugh Jackman robot boxing movie Real Steel – is astoundingly good, and that film could be just the boost he needs to segue into higher profile, vaguely serious projects like Pirates 5. We've never seen anything from Levy that gave us any reason to write him off completely, but we've never really seen him prove himself either. He wouldn't be our first choice to take over one of the biggest movie franchises in history. He wouldn't be our fifth, either.

Rob Marshall: The director of On Stranger Tides did a fairly decent job with a fairly problematic screenplay, and did a solid job of making the most recent Pirates feel like another installment in the Gore Verbinski series. What he didn't really do is knock it out of the park with his ingenuity, artistic vision or anything like that. Disney's reportedly had an offer out to Marshall for months, but he's too busy working with Depp on their adaptation of The Thin Man to commit to anything else right now, hence the need to look for other directors. We'd support Marshall on another Pirates. Anything to keep him out of the god-awful Oscar bait.

Sam Raimi: The director of The Evil Dead and the Spider-Man trilogy has everything the Pirates franchise needs: a sense of humor, a flare for action and force of personality. Raimi's signature style entirely befits the world Gore Verbinski created, even if he squandered an itsy-bitsy bit of good will after the Spider-Man 3… 'unpleasantness.' Raimi's also got an 'in' at Disney, since he's currently in pre-production on Oz, The Great and Powerful for the House of Mouse. If he agreed to the production, we'd be happy folks, but is he a little too big for Verbinski and Marshall's hand-me-downs? Time will tell.

Chris Weitz: This is the man who directed Twilight: New Moon, but we don't hold that against him. Everyone has a mortgage these days. But the most obvious credential Weitz has in his favor, The Golden Compass, was disappointing enough to derail an entire planned franchise, which isn't exactly a glowing endorsement. We like Weitz – his Hugh Grant comedy About A Boy is a genuine treasure – but while we're sure he could handle the ample bantering in Pirates 5 he's probably not first on anybody's list of summer blockbuster directors. 

Who should direct Pirates 5? If we had our druthers we'd definitely pick Alfonos Cuaron, but Sam Raimi is an excellent backup as well. Who would you pick? Let us know below.