The economic downturn has finally caught up with Disney, as the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Disney Pictures is bringing some fiscal restraint to its movies, especially costly spectacles like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer:

With the fourth installment of the swashbuckling tale poised to start shooting June 14, Bruckheimer and the filmmakers are scrambling to meet the more constrained budget that Disney is imposing. Although it's still large - north of $200 million - it is at least a third less than the last "Pirates" movie and includes far fewer shooting days and visual effects shots.

Screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio were told to create a script that had Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow character spending more time on land than water because of the high cost of shooting on the high seas.

To save more money, the number and selection of filming locations changed. Whereas the prior installments were shot in the Caribbean and Los Angeles, the upcoming production will be filmed primarily in Hawaii and London, where tax credits are more favorable. The number of shooting days scheduled is 90 to 95, down from 142 on the last movie. Similarly, there are expected to be 1,300 to 1,400 visual effects shots, compared with 2,000.

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Gone is one shooting location four hours north of London that would have required an overnight stay for the cast and crew. Instead, filming in London will save $3 million to $4 million.

The filmmakers are also going line by line through the script, seeing what scenes they can cut or shorten. What follows are some specific plot details that you should read only at your own risk.

Spoiler Alert!

Gone is one shooting location four hours north of London that would have required an overnight stay for the cast and crew. Instead, filming in London will save $3 million to $4 million.

An "ice fair," in which jugglers and carnival acts would perform on a frozen River Thames, was excised too.

The filmmakers are also looking to shorten an elaborate carriage chase. As written, the scene in which the British pursue Jack Sparrow through the streets of London would require 12 shooting days, but it is being cut to four to six days.