Even though the fourth film in the franchise, 'Pirates of Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,' was the lowest grossing of the franchise domestically, that film - boosted by 3D - managed to make over a billion dollars worldwide. So that a writer has been hired to write 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' should be no surprise.

Jeff Nathanson -- who worked with Steven Spielberg on such films as 'Catch Me if You Can,' 'The Terminal,' and 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' and with Brett Ratner on the second and third 'Rush Hour' films and 'Tower Heist' -- has been hired to pen the fourth sequel for the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, according to Variety. No start date has been announced, but one thing is for certain: Johnny Depp is going to get a marvelous payday as he has already signed on.

Other than Nathanson, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Depp, no one else is attached. Depp supposedly had a good working relationship with 'Pirates 4's helmer Rob Marshall, but their 'Thin Man' reboot went into turnaround after numerous drafts and a casting search for a leading lady, so it's hard to say if that relationship has soured. It's also possible that Gore Verbinski, who directed the first three and will be coming off of 'The Lone Ranger' (which was a troubled production) will be open to returning.

Regardless of who else comes back, there is no way this movie isn't getting made. Not in this franchise-happy environment.

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