The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is returning with a fresh new look. Variety reports that Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) is set to star in a new “female-led version” of Disney’s pirate adventure. It’s also reported that British screenwriter Christina Hodson, who penned the script for Robbie’s “Birds of Prey,” is on board with the project too.
The first installment “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” released in 2003 to critical acclaim, with Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Jack Sparrow hailed by critics and earning him Oscar, BAFTA, and SAG Nominations for Best Actor. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley also starred in the subsequent two films, “Dead Man’s Chest” and “At World’s End,” before the franchise took a different route with “On Stranger Tides” and “Dead Men Tell No Tales.” Despite being largely successful at the box office, the latter two were not received favorably by critics or audiences, and there were calls for the franchise to be given a fresh new look to reinvigorate it.
A female-led film certainly does this, likely moving away from Depp’s Sparrow as the leading man and instead focusing on a new character altogether. Robbie brings the kind of star power synonymous with the Pirates franchise and has had a string of critical and commercial successes in recent years. She received Oscar nominations for both “I, Tonya” and “Bombshell” recently, as well as being double nominated by BAFTA for her performances in the latter and “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.” Her portrayal of Harley Quinn in the DC Extended Universe has also been largely praised.
Variety also reports that this Robbie-led film is separate from another upcoming Pirates film in development from “Chernobyl” creator Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer “is attached to produce both.” It will be an entirely separate story to those that have come before it.