With a career of high-profile costume productions, Rob Marshall is an eyebrow-raising choice for the director of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.' For Marshall, his decision to do 'Pirates' was all about his lead actor -- one Capt. Jack Sparrow.

"Gosh, I really haven't even started thinking about it except that I am excited to be working with Johnny [Depp]," Marshall told Moviefone at Wednesday's 'Nine' premiere in L.A., of 'Pirates 4.' "That's the thrill of it for me, to begin working in the process with one of my favorite actors of all time." With a career of high-profile costume productions, Rob Marshall is an eyebrow-raising choice for the director of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.' For Marshall, his decision to do 'Pirates' was all about his lead actor -- one Capt. Jack Sparrow.

"Gosh, I really haven't even started thinking about it except that I am excited to be working with Johnny [Depp]," Marshall told Moviefone at Wednesday's 'Nine' premiere in L.A., of 'Pirates 4.' "That's the thrill of it for me, to begin working in the process with one of my favorite actors of all time."

Marshall, who directed 'Nine' and the 2002 Best Picture Oscar-winning 'Chicago,' in addition to 2005's languorous 'Memoirs of a Geisha,' is presumably used to handling complicated, star-studded shoots.

Marshall confirmed his attachment to the billion-dollar franchise in November at a Q&A for 'Nine,' when he reportedly said, "It's something that I was offered and never in the world thought I would do, but then I was like 'why not?'... I'm doing 'Pirates of the Caribbean.'"

'Pirates 4' is set for a summer 2011 release.

Meantime, Marshall has his hands full with 'Nine,' the anticipated Fellini musical with a cast headed by Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman and Marion Cotillard that hits theaters Dec. 18.

Getting his 'Nine' stars to sing and dance was always a coaxing process, says Marshall, who has a long background in musical theater and is a six-time Tony Award nominee.

"I think they were all a little shy about it, to be quite honest," Marshall says. "Fergie was the only one who felt comfortable in their skin to get in there and start belting. Everybody was shy about it, and they really used the process. We had eight weeks of rehearsal. They really worked hard -- really."

He also said on the red carpet at the 'Nine' premiere, "I had to put 'Chicago' aside. It is such a different kind of musical. It helps to have done it, because I know how the machine works of a musical on film that got my feet wet. This is such a different thing, because it's a dramatic musical in a way. I mean there is humor to it, a lot of singing and dancing. There is also a deeper story begin told, and that's why I am so lucky to have this great cast."
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