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    Johnny Depp's Director Jumps Ship on Pirates Sequel

    Johnny Depp, Gore Verbinski Peter Mountain/ Disney Enterprises, Steve Granitz/Getty Images

    Gore Verbinski is walking the proverbial plank.

    The director, who piloted all three Pirates of the Caribbean films in Disney's blockbuster trilogy, has decided not to helm a fourth installment.

    According to Variety, the 45-year-old Verbinski will instead focus on his attention on Universal's Bioshock, based on the popular videogame about a plane-crash survivor who stumbles upon an underwater city.

    The Mouse House and producer Jerry Bruckheimer had been hoping the filmmaker would return to the Pirates fold for one more outing, especially since the three flicks combined have grossed $2.6 billion in global ticket sales and star Johnny Depp is aboard to reprise his role as Capt. Jack Sparrow.

    "I had a fantastic time bringing Pirates to life, and I am eternally grateful to Jerry, Johnny and the rest of the creative and production team," the director said. "I'm looking forward to all of us crossing paths again the future."

    The next Pirates is due to begin filming in 2010.

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