Though its popularity has waned in recent years, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is still a big earner for Disney with a total of $3.7 billion made over the course of four movies since the first one hit in 2003.

The fifth instalment will be directed by Kon-Tiki hemers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, with Johnny Depp set to reprise the role of Captain Jack Sparrow. Though Christoph Waltz had been rumoured for the movie’s lead villain, Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Skyfall) is in talks to take on that part now.

If he ends up signing up for Pirates of the Caribbean 5, he’ll play Captain Brand, a ghost bent on revenge against Captain Jack Sparrow, who he apparently holds responsible for the murder of his brother.

Geoffrey Rush is expected to return, as are Ian McShane and Stephen Graham, while Orlando Bloom and Keith Richards will likely make cameo appearances. New characters include a British soldier and a young girl he’s tasked with protecting, and we’ll likely hear some more casting news about those roles soon.

The untitled Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is currently set to be released in July 2007. The response to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides wasn’t great, so it should be interesting to see this one come together!