Officially, and this is from Jerry Bruckheimer’s mouth: Pirates of the Caribbean 5 has been delayed to 2016 because of a scripting issue. He and everyone involved want to get it right. Sounds plausible enough. But given the problems Disney had with a big-money Johnny Depp, Bruckheimer-produced blockbuster last time out, suggestions are that the giants are mulling things over.

Lone RangerAre Disney ready to ride with Depp again?

“We have an outline everyone loves but the script is not done,” revealed Bruckheimer in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s all a factor,” he said, answering a question on price tags. “We want a script that everyone’s signed off on and a budget that everyone’s signed off on.” Jeff Nathanson is working on the screenplay for Pirates 5 and Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are signed up to direct.

Is it worth the risk?

Money seems to dominate his answers when talking on the subject; it’s a pertinent and tender subject for both he and Disney as they look to plough even more money into a partnership that spectacularly bombed last time out. The Lone Ranger was panned critically, and cost the studio millions of dollars, as the high production budget and even higher marketing budget rendered it a failure.

The flop even got Depp thinking about throwing in the towel. "At a certain point you start thinking. When you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year and you realise that you've said written words more than you've had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking about that as an insane option for a human being,” he said to The BBC. “Are there quieter things that I wouldn't mind doing? Yeh, I wouldn't mind that."

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp did plenty of press for Lone Ranger, to no avail

Up next for Depp is Transcendence, a sci-fi movie currently in postproduction that takes place in a world where computers transcend the ability of the human brain. It sees computer scientist Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall) upload her husband Will's (Depp) brain into a computer after he is killed by terrorists. Wally Pfister – director of photography on the Dark Knight films – is directing the film so good things are expected. It could represent a renaissance of sorts for Depp.

But with Pirates, Disney has a trusted brand. The latest film – On Stranger Tides – grossed over $1-billion, and in total, the franchise, through box office sales alone, has grossed $3.7-billion. It’s a monolithic presence in cinema, and numbers like that mean a fifth Pirates movie is absolutely worth the risk. (Box Office Mojo)

It’s a huge few years for Disney as they move on from the Lone Ranger disaster. With the Star Wars franchise under their considerable belt – J.J. Abrams is helming the 2015 release of Episode VII - another Avengers movie and a Pixar film, ‘Inside Out’, its doubtful they’re placing too much stock into the Depp and Bruckheim’s recent and public failure to produce the goods.

One more, though, and we could see the end of those Pirates.