Despite the fact that there’s just no good reason to do a Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (except unmitigated greed), Disney is moving ahead with just such a film. After redefining cinematic excess in the last film, Gore Verbinski looks to be sitting this one out and according to Variety Rob Marshall may be taking his place.

Marshall directed Chicago and has the musical Nine coming later this year (an all-singing, all-dancing version of 8 1/2); he would certainly bring a new sensibility to the franchise, although I can’t help but wonder if this wouldn’t be like the decision to put Joel Schumacher on the Batman films. The Pirates movies are already pretty arch, and while none of Marshall’s work has been particularly campy, it’s not hard to imagine him taking this sort of film less seriously than his usual Oscar bait.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is keen to get this ship sailing ASAP. He wants to make Pirates 4 before he and Johnny Depp move on to do The Lone Ranger. Marshall may have a deal signed soon and could be deep in pre-production by the time he begins doing press for Nine later this year.