Verbinski pulls out of Pirates 4 to direct Bioshock

source: variety.com

Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski has informed Disney and uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer that he will not direct a fourth installment in the billion dollar franchise. He will instead focus on an adaptation of the critically acclaimed videogame BioShock.

It was announced in September last year that Johnny Depp would reprise his Oscar-nominated performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in a fourth POTC film. The as-yet untitled film would begin shooting in 2010 for a 2012 release.

Verbinski had spent six years directing the first three blockbusters, and has decided not to continue working on the film series to pursue other projects.

The most notable project on Verbinski’s slate is the long-gestating BioShock, which tells the story of a plane crash survivor who must navigate an underwater city and face attacks from mutated beings. Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator) has written the screenplay. Universal is hoping for a 2010 release.

Verbinski will also produce a big-screen adaptation of the classic Hasbro board game Clue. We can only hope it will be similar in tone to the comedic 1985 version starring Tim Curry.

Following this announcement, the future of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is unknown, although I doubt Disney would cancel their plans at this point. After all, if you could guarantee a billion dollar gross in 2012, paltry matters like “directors pulling out” wouldn’t seem so devastating.

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