Between Captain Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Davy Jones, Calypso, Norrington and a veritable rogues gallery of pirates, buccaneers and scoundrels, trying to follow every plot thread in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" left my head spinning like a giant maelstrom.
Turns out "Pirates" helmer Gore Verbinski agrees. Holding court as the keynote speaker at the video game-centric DICE Summit in Las Vegas, the director told the audience that his biggest problem with "At World's End" was that it had just too many darn characters.
It's a problem they'll almost certainly remedy next time around. Reports from websites like Jim Hill Media indicate that the next "Pirates" adventure will center almost exclusively on Jack and Barbossa, presumably as they search for the fabled Fountain of Youth.
Geoffrey Rush more or less confirmed this to MTV News himself back in September, when the Oscar winner proposed a search for the fabled spring as his preferred storyline for a fourth big screen journey.
But if true, it's certainly news to Verbinski.
"Show me the script," he said. "I look forward to reading the script for 'Pirates 4.'"
Verbinski knows, of course, that because of the ongoing writers strike, such a task would be impossible. But, then, past "Pirates" movies have already been green-lit, and even given a concrete release date, without a final screenplay.
Try it again and you'll lose Verbinski, the director insisted.
"The process of having release dates and no script is not something I'm dying to go through again. I would have to pull the gun out of my mouth [first]," he said. "The reason I did 2 and 3, honestly, was because I still thought there was something to do there. I don't want to be involved in, you know, 'Rocky 9.' "
What do you think about focusing on Captain Jack and Barbossa for the next "Pirates"? Would you miss Will and Elizabeth? What about the proposed storyline? Does the Fountain of Youth tickle your inner geek? Sound off below, and then head over to the MTV Multiplayer Blog for more from Gore Verbinski.