I have to say I agree with Jeremy that Gore Verbinski needs to work on some projects other than enormously-budgeted pirate movies. Though pirates (including those of the Sid Meier variety) can be fun, Verbinski has filmmaking potential that extends far beyond what is required to guide those kinds of films. As evidenced by his excellent non-POTC filmography (Mouse Hunt, The Mexican, The Ring, The Weather Man), the guy has range.

And Verbinski is looking to widen that range with his next project, which I will call Untitled Gore Verbinski Animation Project. That’s right, Gore Verbinski’s next film will likely be an animated picture. A $100 million animated picture. And it’ll be coming in 2010.

Gore’s already got a team working on this thing. Graham King, whom you might remember as the guy who accepted The Departed’s Best Picture Oscar, will be producing, and John Logan will write the script. King’s involvement explains the large budget (which is a presumption on someone’s part at this point). King has a first-look deal at Warners, who won’t make a decision until they see a script.

As for Logan, well, it’s hard to predict the quality of his contribution to the project; he did, after all, follow up his Oscar nomination for Gladiator with The Time Machine, Star Trek: Nemesis and that Sinbad animated movie. On the other hand, his most recent work includes The Aviator and Sweeney Todd. For this project, Logan will be working with a story conceived by Verbinski and the folks at his production company, Blind Wink.

Gore’s team for this project (probably) includes “creature designer” Mark McCreery. That makes me wonder what kind of animation this project will utilize. Will it be more of that newfangled computer animation, with which McCreery has experience, or will it be traditional animiation, with which McCreery has a ton of experience? $100 million says they go computer-animated. I find it odd, though, that neither the Hollywood Reporter nor Variety nor the PRNewswire makes that specification.