Pirates’ budget slashed with a rusty cutlass

‘Pirates of the Caribbean 4’ is set to suffer a series of significant financial cutbacks, which producers insist will not diminish its quality in comparison to its big budget predecessors.

Disney’s head of production Oren Aviv has revealed the extent of the budget reduction: “We’ve decided this time around to do away with the bombast of the first three movies and to concentrate on character development. We’ll be using just two fixed cameras for the entire film and it’ll be shot predominantly on Hi-8 in order to make it feel more intimate and authentic. We will have a core group of relatively unknown actors who will be playing relatives of the central characters from the first three films. There won’t be any need for peripheral characters this time around, as we’ll be focusing on the emotional interaction of the main stars of the movie.”

The recession has affected industry worldwide, and Hollywood is no exception. It is thought that the movie industry barely broke even during 2008 and is currently about $5m in the red so far this year. Production companies are desperate to combat spiralling expenses by cutting down on unnecessary studio and location costs, and Pirates 4 has been forced to shift its focus in order to make a viable financial return.

Mr. Aviv added: “Most of the action will be confined to either the beach – which is actually going to be recreated in a studio to save on location costs – or Captain Jack’s cousin’s quarters – which is essentially a small wooden room with a crate in the corner.”

Although Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom are not expected to reprise their roles for the new film, Mr. Aviv has assured that this is not a typical Hollywood trick of cashing in on the name of a well-loved film series, whilst essentially making a completely different film with a barely tenable link to the original: “We are mindful of preserving the essence of what makes the Pirates Of The Caribbean series such a successful and much-loved franchise. Whilst this film won’t feature exotic locations, large-scale onboard mutinies, explosions, Johnny Depp or Keira Knightley, we’re sure that fans of the previous films will appreciate the subtleties of Pirates 4 and grow to love the new characters just as much.”

The new movie will be set ten years later than its predecessors, and revolves around the unexplained chance meeting of its two new central characters – Captain Jack’s cousin Captain Tim Pigeon-Jones and Elizabeth Swann’s cousin Sandra Sherbourne – who initially argue over each others’ recollections, but eventually fall in love whilst recounting the previous adventures of their respective cousins. This technique will allow the makers of the new film to use retrospective clips during each story, thereby creating a unique warmth while renewing the audience’s affection for the characters of the previous films through this new storytelling angle.

“We hope to add a new dimension to the characters in the previous films through the third party recollections of hitherto unrevealed characters who have been specifically created for this particular episode of the series.” said Mr. Aviv yesterday. “And fans of the previous films in the series will be able to enjoy the action from those films in an entirely new way, whilst enjoying the romance blossom between the two new leading characters.”

The film is due to be shot early next year and is tipped to star Ian MacShane of Lovejoy and Deadwood fame, alongside lesser known American actress Allison Munn.

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