The Black Pearl will next set sail without its metaphorical captain.
"I had a fantastic time bringing 'Pirates' to life, and I am eternally grateful to Jerry, Johnny and the rest of the creative and production team," Verbinski said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to all of us crossing paths again in the future."
The director will instead focus on his latest project, an adaptation of the video game "Bioshock." The game's story follows a mysterious protagonist who unravels the history behind (and dodges murderous mutants in) an Ayn Rand-influenced undersea city called Rapture.
The next installment in the "Pirates" series is tentatively set for a 2010 release, but has yet to be greenlit. Johnny Depp is attached.