Geoffrey Rush Says He's Planning To Shoot 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' In The Spring

Before news broke that Johnny Depp is considerably less psyched to step back into Jack Sparrow's boots for a fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" following the exodus of Disney studio chief Dick Cook, MTV News had a chance to chat with franchise co-star Geoffrey Rush about the developing project.

The Australian actor said he's definitely set to reprise his role as nefarious Captain Barbossa, and has been told to keep his schedule open for a possible start to filming next spring.

Said Rush to Josh Horowitz: "They're waiting for the screenplay writers to put together something that's beyond the trilogy, take it off into a new direction so that it's fresh and hopefully really interesting for an audience, that they're not going to just sausage-machine out something else, which wouldn't be so good."

Of course, it remains to be seen how, if at all, Cook's departure will affect "Pirates." Can what Depp called "a fissure, a crack" in his passion for the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced film be healed by the spring? All speculation for now.

For his part, Rush was firmly committed to the franchise as of early last week. And, to be honest, he didn't know much about how everything was coming together. Even the newly announced title—"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"—caught Rush by surprise.

"No, no one tells me anything!" Rush complained. "Jerry Bruckheimer—get your act together! Call me!"