Disney bringing adventure sequel to festival

L’arrr!

Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is finalizing plans to drop anchor at the Cannes Film Festival, screening out of competition after its May 7 world premiere at Disneyland. The Johnny Depp-Penelope Cruz starrer will be the first entry in the theme-park ride-inspired franchise to play the French fest, although the studio would not confirm the pic’s presence.

Pic would boost the fest’s red-carpet wattage, joining Woody Allen’s previously announced opener “Midnight in Paris” and Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” in the official selection.

Decision to bring the film to the Croisette was made fairly recently in the last-minute lead-up to the announcement of the official selection, which will be made Thursday in Paris.

While no prior “Pirates” pic has screened at Cannes, the fest has a tradition of presenting studio tentpole fare out of competition, such as 2008′s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” 2006′s “X-Men: The Last Stand” and 2005′s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.” Those titles world preemed at Cannes, while “On Stranger Tides” will have its its international premiere at the fest.

The Mouse House’s trips to Cannes have been infrequent compared with those of other studios, although it was previously there with “Up,” which opened the 2009 fest.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” launches May 18 in various overseas territories, including France, before opening May 20 Stateside.

The Cannes Film Festival runs May 11-22.

(Marc Graser contributed to this report.)

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