Orlando Bloom's character in the now-juggernaut Pirates of the Caribbean series will not survive through the inevitable fourth installment -- so says a Disney insider who spoke to the British paper Daily Star. According to the source, the script for the fourth film is currently being written, and Disney bean counters are already examining ways to cut its massive costs. They have concluded that although both Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley are essential to the continued success of the series, Orlando's character is human NyQuil and "not necessary" to maintain the gravy train (I could have told them that). Whether or not he will be killed in the third movie, due next summer, or be bumped off early in the fourth is not specified.
The report also states that the films' minor characters, who were faithfully brought back for the first sequel, are also on the chopping block. Given that both Kingdom of Heaven and Elizabethtown -- the only films you could credibly call "Bloom vehicles" -- underperformed at the box office, this report sounds credible to me. There's almost certainly a parity clause in Bloom's contract that assures him a salary in the same league as the other two leads, which will make him cost-prohibitive the longer the series goes on.
I enjoyed the first Pirates film, but thought the second one stunk of doubloons. I doubt I'll be standing in line for the third, let alone the fourth.
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