Have you heard the one about Keith Richards snorting his father's ashes? The whole story was a joke -- at least that is the current spin, anyway. Whatever the truth, though, the story has gotten Richards into a bit of trouble with Disney's publicity department. Although the Rolling Stones guitarist is one of the main attractions of this summer's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, his inability to keep his comments family-friendly are a concern for the studio. Now Disney's senior vice president for publicity, Dennis Rice, has decided not to let Richards aid in much of the promotion of the blockbuster sequel. However, considering Rice is about to leave Disney for a new job at United Artists, we can't be sure that his replacement will agree with this decision.

In the movie, Richards plays Teague Sparrow, father of Johnny Depp's popular character, Captain Jack Sparrow. He will likely be drinking a lot on screen, but because of the PG PG-13* rating there shouldn't be any self-parodic gags involving drug use. As for outside the film, Disney should expect nothing else from Richards than more good-humored remarks, appropriate for kids or not, and should have realized this upon hiring him for the movie -- just as they should have expected he'd be 'wobbly' on set. I think that for the adults who are interested in At World's End, his involvement in its publicity would be favorable. In fact, I think Richards could help attract older folks more than he would turn off offended parents (their children will scream if not permitted to see this, I'm sure).

In addition to stating the distance being made between Richards and the movie, Rice also mentioned that Disney still has not confirmed plans to go further with the Pirates franchise. He says At Worlds End completes the trilogy and that no decision has been made yet to continue the characters' adventures past this third movie. If you remember, we have only so far been given the news that Depp wants more, Keira Knightley doesn't, Orlando Bloom is not needed, director Gore Verbinski is noncommittal, screenwriter Terry Rossio is uncertain and producer Jerry Bruckheimer is down for more as long as Disney is willing.

* I forgot that the Pirates movies have too much adventure violence for a simple PG. Thanks for the reminder, Caitlin.