Bruckheimer, 71, has ruled the Hollywood roost as the most prolific and successful producer of the past 20 years (with a thriving TV business to accompany his film empire). Having begun his career partnered with the late Don Simpson, he has endured the occasional setback, most recently when Disney severed its longtime deal with him following the disappointments of 2010's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and 2013's The Lone Ranger. "I wanted to make more of a variety of movies," he says, arguing that the split was his decision (rather than the studio's), partly to make R-rated movies for mature audiences. "We did Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Pirates of the Caribbean, and they all balance themselves out," he says. It's the Pirates franchise that's now most important for Disney, and Bruckheimer is in production on the fifth, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, with a possible sixth in the offing "if Johnny [Depp] wants to do it." His new home is Paramount, and his three-year deal returns him to the studio where his producing career began with Flashdance and Top Gun (a sequel is being developed). "I had a lot of good luck there," he says, "and I hope it will continue."