In 2003, an action film based on a popular attraction at the Disneyland theme parks became a global hit. The inevitable sequels followed and now there's the fourth adventure in the series featuring Johnny Depp as the flamboyant Captain Jack Sparrow. Here's a look at Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Always slightly inebriated, but rarely off balance, Captain Jack is at it again, confounding the 18th century British authorities as he sails in search of treasure. This time the prize is the fabled Fountain of Youth. A map to the mythical spring has fallen into Sparrow's hands and he is once again at odds with fellow pirate Barbossa.
BARBOSSA: "Jack, our sands be all but run. Where's the harm in joining the winning side?"
JACK SPARROW: "I understand everything …except that wig."
Captain Sparrow (Johnny Depp, right) and Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) spy on a Spanish encampment during the search for the legendary Fountain of Youth.
Geoffrey Rush is back as Jack Sparrow's perennial rival, decked out in courtier's finery from lace cuffs to long, curled wig.
"Barbossa is a survivor. He knows he is not getting any younger, so he has crossed the line and joined up with the opposition and now works as a privateer for King George II," explains Rush. "He has taken to it like a duck to water, which I think for Jack Sparrow is particularly annoying …and that's a good thing."
Captain Jack (Johnny Depp), Angelica (Penelope Cruz), Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and their eerie crew land on an island where they hope to find the fabled Fountain of Youth.
In this adventure they have a new common enemy - a most uncommon adversary in the pirate Blackbeard, played with zeal by Ian McShane.
"Blackbeard was the most notorious pirate who never killed anybody, because he scared them all up front," notes McShane. "His boat was fearsome. He was the first to fly the skull-and-crossbones [pirate flag] and he had this amazing image about him that he was the most fearful pirate."
BLACKBEARD "I be placed in a bewilderment. There I were resting when upon a sudden I hear an ungodly row on deck. What be that, first mate?"
ANGELICA "Mutiny, captain."
Penelope Cruz as Angelica in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
The first mate is Angelica, Blackbeard's fiery daughter who, in a remarkable coincidence, was romantically involved with Captain Jack Sparrow way before the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Spanish actress Penelope Cruz fills that role.
"It was very helpful that we didn't go into a studio until after we shot for two or three months in Hawaii," Cruz says. "All of that helped me a lot to imagine what the pirate world was in that time. Because it is so far from our reality, to create a character like that is all about your imagination and it really helped to be in those beautiful places."
Director Rob Marshall on the set of the movie with Johnny Depp
Those locations included tropical Puerto Rico in the Caribbean and several historical settings in Britain. Director Rob Marshall, whose previous films include the musicals "Chicago" and "Nine," says making "Pirates," while totally different for him, felt like familiar cinematic territory.
"It's such an escape to that world and another time... It's something deeply rooted in American cinema. I loved the films for that reason and I was thrilled to make one too," Marshall says.
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
The charismatic character leading the merry chase over the bounding main is, of course, Captain Jack Sparrow, played for a fourth time by Johnny Depp. He says he can imagine playing the pirate in a fifth adventure …or even more.
"Yeah, I think they could wheel me in," jokes Depp. "Interestingly enough, for me a character like Captain Jack makes you feel like you could just continue. The possibilities are endless. There's any possibility of madness and absurdity that could commence, so you feel that with this character you are never really done."
JACK SPARROW "Have you been there?"
CAPTAIN TEAGUE "Does this face look like it's been to the fountain of youth?"
JACK SPARROW "It depends on the light."
Rock and roll veteran Keith Richards has a cameo as Captain Jack's father. He played the part in the previous "Pirates of the Caribbean" film after Johnny Depp revealed that the look for Jack Sparrow was inspired by the Rolling Stones virtuoso.