Pirates of the Caribbean IV will be based on Tim Powers's "On Stranger Tides"

Oh, this is very good news: the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie will be based on Tim Powers's kick-ass, World-Fantasy-Award-winning novel On Stranger Tides, the greatest undead pirate story of all time. Go, Tim! Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. (Thanks, Rob!)


  1. ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG *SQUEEEEE*! And with Ian McShane as Blackbeard! Oh dear sweet Weott, this is awesome. Starting with a Tim Powers story and Ian McShane, even if they screw it up, it’ll still tower over the usual Hollywood blockbuster crap. I have to go sit down now. Oh wait, I’m already sitting down. I have to lie down, then. *fanboy swoon*

  2. I loved the novel and think Ian McShane was brilliantly cast as Edward Blackbeard Teach, but do you think much of Power’s writing is going to survive the Hollywood treatment?

    The first PotC movie was waaaay more entertaining than a movie based on a ride deserved to be, but the second two really lost most of the goofy charm.

  3. Oh, I expect they’ll screw it up, but it’ll generally elevate the timbre of the PoTC franchise. And it’ll make Tim and Sarina a hatfull of dough.

    1. I expect up-screwage as well, but starting from such an epic height, they can fall a long way and still turn out something pretty darned good.

  4. One of my very favourite books combined with a favourite movie franchise. Sweet! I hope we get the talking head glowing fungus that breathe spores in the swamp.

  5. ON STRANGER TIDES was nominated for 1988 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, but lost to REPLAY by Ken Grimwood. Tim Powers later won the Best Novel award twice; in 1996 for LAST CALL, and in 2001 for DECLARE.

    Seeing the first POTC movie I thought, “Damn! There goes any chance of seeing an ON STRANGER TIDES movie.” Thrilled to pieces that a Powers novel is being adapted in some way, if only so his books and bank account get a boost.

  6. Great! I hope this means I’ll be able to replace my lost copy of OST without having to take out a bank loan. (Seriously, Amazon, £70 for a paperback? What is up with that?)

  7. There’ve been tidbits dropping about this for months — but is the book really being used as the basis for the movie, or were rights secured just so no similarities would cause issues (central character is a young pirate named Jack, odd magics that no-one believes in, search for the Fountain of Youth is central).

  8. The first movie already came pretty close to being an ‘On Stranger Tides’ ripoff, so Tim Powers deserves to get paid even if the new movie has nothing to do with the book.

    Plus, maybe he’ll get some more fans when the PotC-branded edition of the novel inevitably hits the shelves.

  9. Early on when they announced the title I was a little excited, then I heard they bought the title because they just didn’t want to get sued for cribbing one or two things from the novel. So I’m really happy Tim gets a boatload of money for his excellent novel, but I have no hope for the movie being an adaptation.

  10. Congrats to Tim Powers, but before we all go slapping each other on the back we should wait until the script gets leaked. Since most books bear little resemblance to their movie brethren, I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and say Disney gave Mr. Powers several car loads of cash for the rights and proceeded to shred their copy of the book. Disney then took the shreds of book and had someone piece it back together, then gave the “new” book to the script writer. Sure characters and places may be similar, but that will be about as close as the two stories get.

    Jack Sparrow meets a regular guy (the hero) who wants adventure in his dull life. The hero finds said adventure with Sparrow and they go on a crazy adventure involving the undead all to get something Sparrow wants. The hero and Sparrow have a two way love affair with the heroine, but ultimately she falls for the hero. The hero & heroine both help Sparrow get that something he was looking for from the beginning of the film.

    Now you might say I just described the first PoTC movie, which I did; but save this post in a .txt file somewhere (keep it safe). When On stranger Tides comes out, go see it, but watch carefully. When you get home open up the .txt file and see just how closely Disney copied their original plot.

    1. You know, things that work in books often don’t work in movies. That’s why they are different mediums. I’m not saying all movie adaptations do the books justice, but I am saying that the best adaptations are not word-for-word transcriptions.

      Someone suggested that the way to adapt a book is to read it once, wait 6 months, and write the screenplay on what the book felt like it was about. I may not always agree with that, but it’s not unreasonable.

      Moby Dick makes a great book because of the writing. Making a movie out of it by copying the book is a completely stupid idea. Using the allegory in a different way makes complete sense though, and has made for a few good movies.

      Someone I read an interview with recently, who authored a book they turned into a movie, said s/he didn’t mind if the movie was different. As they pointed out – if you wanted the book, read the book. The movie will always be something else.

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