Johnny-Depp-Pirates-of-the-CaribbeanDisney and Johnny Depp have had an immensely successful partnership over the years, with the Pirates franchise grossing upwards of .5bn. around the world, and Alice in Wonderland grossing more than bn. back in 2010. We recently heard that the studio had hired a writer to pen an Alice in Wonderland sequel, and now it looks like they’re getting back on board (no pun intended) for Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

Variety are reporting that Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal) has been hired to pen a fifth film, with Jerry Bruckheimer once more serving as producer.

And as if that wasn’t sweet enough, the studio have set a release date for July 2015.

Depp is naturally expected to return as Cap’n Jack Sparrow – because, of course, you can’t make a Pirates film without him – and though no deal is yet in place, the actor has spoken in the past of his willingness to return, provided the script is good.

Plot details are currently being kept under wraps, so there’s no word yet on who, if any, of the past actors and actresses would be back alongside him.

If things were to pick up where they left off at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, then hopefully we can look forward to seeing Penélope Cruz alongside him once more as Angelica. Time will tell.

For now, at least, it’s good to know that the franchise is very much alive and well. It’s interesting to see that Disney haven’t brought back Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio for the script, given that they co-wrote the first four films.

But with Nathanson now on board, here’s to hoping that we can look forward to a smooth road towards production in the next year or two. It’s still early days, and there’s no word yet on a potential director. But hopefully that will all change soon.

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 will be hitting the big screen on 10th July, 2015. If everything else falls into place as expected, that will be the same season as The Avengers 2, the Justice League movie, and Star Wars Episode VII. It’s going to be one hell of a summer, my friends.