Trimming Captain Jack’s sails? Disney’s cost-cutting on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4: ON STRANGER TIDES

“Fiscal restraint” is the new watchword at Disney, which means even Captain Jack Sparrow will have to make do with less, the Los Angeles Times reports. Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is scheduled to begin shooting on June 14th, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Rob Marshall “are scrambling to meet the more constrained budget that Disney is imposing. Although it’s still large — north of $200 million — it is at least a third less than the last Pirates movie,” observes the Times, “and includes far fewer shooting days and visual effects shots.”

According to Jerry Bruckheimer, the goal is to “make these movies very entertaining but also very cost effective.” To trim costs, Captain Jack will spend more time on land and less on the open sea, and the production will film “primarily in Hawaii and London” because “tax credits are more favorable” than the Caribbean or California, where the previous Pirates movies were shot.

The Los Angeles Times offers specific examples of cost-cutting: “The number of shooting days scheduled is 90 to 95, down from 142 on the last movie. Similarly, there are expected to be 1,300 to 1,400 visual effects shots, compared with 2,000.” That’s a significant reduction. Still, new director Rob Marshall is undaunted. “We’re all working hard to keep it as lean as possible,” he told the Times. “It’s a tricky time in the economy. You can’t be insane.” With a background in live theater and television, Marshall is accustomed to dealing with lean budgets. In fact, Pirates 4 “is by far the biggest budget I’ve ever worked with,” he said.

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