Even the big fans (like me) were a little surprised when Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer jumped right back into the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' business so soon after the last massive trilogy ... but I guess that's what happens when your first three flicks make about $3,000,000,000 at the worldwide box office. (OK, more like $2,450,000,000. Fine.)

We 'Pirates' fans have been watching the production of Part 4 ('On Stranger Tides') and, well, there's nothing so far to make us feel thrilled or exasperated, really. (A trailer debut on December 13th may change that though.) We know the cast includes both returnees (Depp, Rush, Richards) and newcomers (Dench, Griffiths, Gemma Ward!) and that Rob Marshall has taken over the directorial reins from Gore Verbinski. Also that the release date is May 20 and, oh yeah, a vaguely familiar one-sheet hit the internet a few weeks back.

But now comes some juicy new word(s) from our friends at HitFix.com, and the short version is this: the 'Pirates' producers are fully intent on plowing forward -- and they're probably aiming to do Parts 5 and 6 at the same time. Kinda sorta precisely how they did with Parts 2 and 3. It makes one wonder why they didn't plan ahead and do 4, 5 and 6 all at the same time. Here's the full scoop from Hitfix...

"Disney has begun quietly telling cast and crew to set aside a major block of time in the very near future so they can shoot "Pirates 5" and "Pirates 6." And, yes, once again, they will be shooting them back-to-back as one giant film, and then they'll release them as two films."

But how will this work? Isn't Johnny Depp busy with 425 other projects at the moment, including 'Dark Shadows,' 'The Lone Ranger,' and (inevitably) a few smaller works in between? Well, just skim through our pal Drew's thoughts on the (very) early stages of 'Pirates 5' and 'Pirates 6.'

Hey, at this point we can at least start dreaming up some new titles, right? I vote for 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Pirate Zombies vs. Godzilla.'