Jerry Bruckheimer Says New ‘Pirates’ Film Will Sail Before ‘The Lone Ranger’

Johnny Depp’s hands are full of win. He’s signed on as Tonto in “The Lone Ranger,” a Disney Pictures film adapted from the old-time series that features Depp as a Native American sidekick. The beloved actor has also agreed to reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in a fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film. These roles emerged as a double-announcement made back in late 2008. Assuming Depp can juggle that busy schedule of his, it’s very likely that he’ll have yet another wildly popular character on his hands in “Ranger”’s Tonto.

That said, both “Ranger” and “Pirates” are without directors at the moment. It has been unclear as to which of the two projects would be Disney’s first priority. Now, producer Jerry Bruckheimer has weighed in with his thoughts, telling ComingSoon that the Depp’s bumbling hero-pirate will set sail first.

“[’Pirates’ is] a great franchise for them and for us, too,” Bruckheimer said. “A beloved character and Johnny’s really excited about coming back to Captain Jack. He certainly is interested in Tonto, but Disney’s priority is to get ’Pirates’ made first. You never know what’s going to happen, but they would like it.”

The comments came after recent rumors suggested that “The Lone Ranger” had found a director in “Harry Potter” vet Mike Newell, who is currently hip deep in sand as he wraps post-production on the Bruckheimer-produced “Prince of Persia.” The mega-producer flat out denied the “Newell on ’Ranger'” rumor, saying that Newell is “too busy” and that there isn’t a director attached just yet.

While it’s too early in the game to start discussing possibilities, Bruckheimer did report that original “Pirates” writers Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot are already hard at work on the fourth installment’s script. He described their work as “funny” and “a whole new way of going,” making us wonder if anyone other than Depp will reprise their role for another adventure sailing the Caribbean seas. “Pirates” director Gore Verbinski left the Caribbean behind for the video game-to-film adaptation of “BioShock,” but now that the undersea adaptation appears to be cooked, Verbinski could conceivably be free to once again take the helm.

Which film are you more excited for: a fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “The Lone Ranger”? Weigh in with some comments!