Disney has confirmed that Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will be released on July 7, 2017 – a six-year gap between franchise entries. The tentpole, which stars Johnny Depp in the now-iconic lead role of Captain Jack Sparrow, was supposed to hit cinemas in the summer of 2015, but scripting issues have lead to major delays.

Jack SparrowJohnny Depp in his most lucrative on-screen role to date as Captain Jack Sparrow

Disney will be looking forward to getting Dead Men off the ground; the last Pirates movie - On Stranger Tides - grossed $1.04 billion in 2011. So far, the franchise as a whole has accumulated something like  $3.7 billion in ticket sales alone, and merchandise for the movies sells well, too. 

More: 10 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Johnny Depp

What’s more, the company are on a roll: Frozen proved to be a hugely successful gamble, and with Star Wars Episode VII steadily leaking drips of information, 2016/2017 will, ostensibly, be a huge year. The weekend of July 7 hasn’t got any other releases scheduled, and it’s unlikely any major studios would want to go up against the powerhouse franchise, despite Depp’s recent slow form with both the critics and the box. 

Disney production president Sean Bailey explained in the fall of 2013: "Like audiences around the globe, we have high expectations for Jack Sparrow's next adventure and we want to have all the right elements in place. We're not there yet and we want to make sure this project is everything these wonderful characters and of course the fans deserve."

Next page: why Zoe Saldana almost quit Hollywood after The Curse of the Black Pearl