Disney Picks Quality Indie Directors for Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Makes Me Dread This Movie a Little Less
And So It Begins
Or maybe a little more, really. Because Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, currently in negotiations to direct Pirates of the Caribbean 5, directed one of my favorite films of the past year, and if Pirates 5 is a suckfest that ruins their careers it’ll just make me sad.
The Norwegian directing duo previously directed Kon-Tiki, which is based on legendary explorer/ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl, who sailed the nearly 5,000 miles between Peru and Polynesia on a wooden raft to prove his theory that Polynesia was settled by ancient Peruvians.
The film was nominated for an Oscar last year, and while the Best Foreign Film category tends to have a rep as being snooty and art-housey, Kon-Tiki couldn’t be farther from that. It’s a fun, exciting adventure story about some headstrong explorers sailing on the deep blue sea. There are daring rescues and lots of sharks. Most of it’s even in English, so no subtitles. Basically, it’s already sort of like a fun Hollywood actioner, except it’s A) Norwegian, B) made on a much smaller budget than most fun Hollywood actioners, and C) much, much better than most fun Hollywood actioners. It’s no wonder, then, that Rønning and Sandberg were tapped to go back to the ocean with Pirates 5.
/Film has another tidbit of information that makes me a little more hopeful (no, that’s too strong. A little less wanting-to-vomit, say), about Pirates 5: The script was written before Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides even came out, but then when critics hated that film producer Jerry Bruckheimer sent it back for rewrites, which were performed by Jeff Nathanson. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but On Stranger Tides, for all it was a critical failure, made over a billion dollars worldwide. Bruckheimer could’ve stuck with the crappy script; it probably would’ve still made the studio tons of money.
Then again, Nathanson’s filmography is somewhat spotty (good with The Terminal and Catch Me If You Can, not-so-good with Tower Heist and the story for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). This could easily still suck. Studios hiring foreign directors and then stifling them is something that happens pretty often, after all. But still. Pirates of the Caribbean 5 just went in my head from “Oh god, this is definitely going to be terrible, whyyyy Hollywood whyyyyy?!” to “this is only, like, 80% likely to be a complete waste of time and money.”