December 11-12, 2021
It was on this day in 2003 that Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl opened in Australian cinemas, and a decade and a half later the franchise’s legacy is as strong as ever.
The film was our first introduction to the swashbuckling adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow played by the eccentric Johnny Depp, who starred alongside Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Australia’s own Geoffrey Rush.
In had such an effect on its audience that it sprouted another four films with Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales, grossing over US$4.5 billion at the box office (that’s enough to make Capt’n Jack crossed-eyed).
The films themselves were originally based off a song entitled Yo Ho (A Pirates Life For Me), written by George Bruns and Xavier Anteco. And that song was actually inspired by the Pirates Of The Caribbean theme park ride that is in no less than five cities around the world including Bay Lake (USA), Tokyo (JPN), Paris (FRA), Shanghai (CHN), and Anaheim (USA) where the ride originally opened in 1967. After the success of the film franchise, the iconic ride was updated to feature elements from the big screen throughout.
To put this Curse Of The Black Pearl anniversary into perspective, Knightley was just 17 when filming began, and as such, her mother had to accompany her to all of the filming locations. She turned 33 this year. Let that sink in.
That isn’t the only interesting fact we now know about the film that started it all. Robert De Niro was actually the original choice for the role of Captain Jack Sparrow but reportedly turned it down because he thought the film would do poorly at the box office ($4.5 BILLION, ROB).
The film’s little-known facts go deep, with Depp said to have improvised his character’s iconic “Savvy?” catchphrase before later writing one of the closing lines, “Bring me that horizon,” the morning the scene was scheduled to be shot.
Meanwhile, Bloom specifically asked producer Jerry Bruckheimer if he could impersonate Depp’s performance in the film, which speaks volumes to comradery and fun on what sounds like an easy-going set; something that definitely gave the final cut an infectious and relatable set.
The grand spectacle that is the Pirates Of The Caribbean clearly has a massive reach and it shows no signs of slowing down with the announcement made earlier this year that a sixth film is in the works.
Whether Johnny Depp will reprise one of his most famous roles has yet to be confirmed, however, after the events of Dead Men Tell No Tales, the film could be open to focus on some of our newly discovered legacy characters.
Henry Turner, the son of Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner, played by another Australian actor in Brenton Thwaites (The Giver, Gods Of Egypt and Maleficent), and Carina Smyth, the daughter of Captain Barbossa, played by Kaya Scodelario (Skins and the Maze Runner trilogy), would be two characters with plenty to offer. While revelations have yet been made in regards to the storyline it seems as though this will probably be the direction the film will go in.
Although the long-term future of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise is unclear, what is known for certain is that its longevity has truly stood the test of time and has many of us wishing we too could have a pirate’s life. Or just the $4.5 billion would be fine.
Now, please enjoy this video of Johnny Depp surprising fans at Disneyland’s Pirates Of The Caribbean ride.