Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides isn’t due to hit cinemas until May of this year, but Disney are obviously feeling confident, having already hired Shrek scriptwriter Terry Rossio to begin work on the franchise’s fifth installment.

Though Rossio has sailed these seas before, co-penning the four previous Pirates entries with his writing partner Ted Elliot, it appears that the as-yet-untitled Pirates 5 will be his first solo voyage.

Meanwhile, the studio have also been doing their best to ensure that On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall will also return, alongside – somewhat less surprisingly – regular Pirates star Johnny Depp.  It’s currently too early to consider him confirmed or the director confirmed. Rossio, however, is a dead cert.

Have Disney truly seen potential in their latest scurvy outing, or are they simply getting ahead of themselves in a bid to keep at least one solid franchise on their books? The studio already dropped Narnia last year, allowing The Voyage of The Dawn Treader to be released by 20th Century Fox, whilst Tron: Legacy has so far failed to make the domestic gross they’d hoped for.  Still, news of the latter hasn’t stopped rumour of a sequel for that film, so why should worry stand in the way of Captain Jack Sparrow?

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens in 3D on 20th May.

Deadline had this story.

Reported by Patrick Harley.