Director to focus on Universal's 'Bioshock'

It’s no longer a pirate’s life for Gore Verbinski.

After spending the better part of the last six years directing the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy, which grossed $2.6 billion worldwide, Verbinski has informed Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer that he will not helm a fourth installment that’s expected to set sail in 2010 with Johnny Depp back as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Sequel is in development but not yet greenlit. It’s unknown how Verbinski’s ankling will affect the pic’s schedule.

Verbinski will instead focus on other projects that include “Bioshock,” a Universal Pictures adaptation of the bestselling vidgame that has a John Logan script and is likely to be Verbinski’s next film as a director.

“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,” Verbinski said. “I’m looking forward to all of us crossing paths again in the future.”

Verbinski is still working with Depp, though. He has been directing “Rango,” a CG-animated film for Paramount Pictures, with Depp voicing the title character. Logan wrote the script based on an idea by Verbinski. Paramount has set a March 2011 release.

Verbinski’s U-based Blind Wink Prods. is developing several other potential directing vehicles, including “Clue,” a live-action murder mystery based on the Hasbro board game, and a drama based on a Wall Street Journal article about the online fantasy role-playing world and its debilitating impact on the real lives of players. Steven Knight (“Eastern Promises”) is penning the latter.

CAA reps Verbinski.

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