Rumours started floating almost as soon the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie (the fourth in the series) was announced. Astute readers noticed almost immediately that the subtitle of the movie – On Stranger Tides – is also the name of a novel by Tim Powers.
Speculation is fine, but even better is confirmation from Powers that confirms the rumours.
‘I can now say that Disney optioned On Stranger Tides and will use elements of the book in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I can also say that I did not ever specify that Serena and I get parts in the movie or have dinner with Johnny Depp! (Not that we’d mind.)’
My thoughts? ‘Bout damn time. As fan of the first trilogy (even the second and third movies, believe it or not!), the first thought that popped into my head while watching the first movie was that Tim Powers better be getting some cash. It was clear from the beginning that the folk behind the movies were familiar with Powers’ work and it’s nice to see one of my favourite authors finally getting his due.
Just looking at a synopsis of the story, it’s easy to see where the novel’s plot will fit in the Pirates of the Caribbean mythos:
The book follows the exploits of John “Jack Shandy” Chandagnac, who travels to the new world after the death of his puppeteer father to confront his uncle, who apparently has made off with the family inheritance. During the voyage, he gets to know a woman named Beth Hurwood and her father, an Oxford professor. Before they arrive, their ship is waylaid by pirates and, with the help of the professor and his assistant, the captain is killed and Chandagnac is forced to join the pirate crew. The reader discovers a sinister plot being concocted by the professor involving his dead wife, his living daughter and Blackbeard. Chandagnac, now known as “Jack Shandy”, must put a stop to these plans and save Beth Hurwood.
Replace ‘Shandy’ with ‘Sparrow’ and you’re rolling. Of course, once the script is set, I’m sure it’ll only bear a slight resemblance to the novel, but it’s still exciting for Powers’ fans, nonetheless. The weirdest part will be seeing the tie-in version of the novel stocked in grocery stores everywhere.