Hoist the Jolly Roger! The movie world's most popular pirates are back on the big screen for a third adventure inspired by a ride at the Disneyland theme parks. Alan Silverman has a look at Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
The original Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl was a surprise hit in 2003. The saga of tipsy Captain Jack Sparrow, naive Will Turner and daring Elizabeth Swann continued in 2006 with a sequel; but that one had a cliff-hanger ending and so the story had to continue with this third film, "...At World's End."
Get him back? Well, it seems he did not exactly die, but went to a sort of purgatory known as Davy Jones Locker. So that's where Will, Elizabeth and the rest of the motley crew must go, led by the Jack Sparrow's nefarious nemesis Barbossa:
That's about as much sense as the plot makes in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End; but that should not bother the legions of fans around the world anxious to see Johnny Depp back in character one more time as Captain Jack.
"What I love about Captain Jack is what I love about being Captain Jack, which is the irreverence," says Depp. "You can be so irresponsible and boisterous and loud and wrong and kind of get away with. There is no responsibility and you're in a position to do the most ridiculous things you can come up with and it's fun.
Crossing verbal swords with Depp's Sparrow: Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa. Hong Kong action star Chow Yun Fat plays a Singapore pirate warlord; but the saltiest of them all turns out to be rock-and-roller Keith Richard, in a brief cameo as Captain Jack's father. Depp has explained that he originally modeled the Sparrow character, in part, after the Rolling Stone guitarist, so he was pleased that Richards agreed to take the small part in this third film of the trilogy.
"The funny thing is I felt so comfortable as Captain Jack acting opposite Keith that it was as if these guys had known each other a lot longer that Johnny has known Keith," says Depp. " It was very strange and a very interesting moment when Keith and Captain Jack met.
Meanwhile, Orlando Bloom gets bolder as young Will Turner determined to win the heart of Elizabeth Swann, who, by now, has become something of a pirate herself.
"It feels like I've been doing a Pirate movie most of my adult life, so it's definitely a bittersweet feeling," says Bloom. "It's going to be sad to say goodbye to the character of Will because I love him. He's completely fearless and he has become a pirate by the end of this. Just as I was starting to get excited about being a pirate, it's come to an end."
Is this it? Is At World's End the final Pirates of the Caribbean adventure? Johnny Depp says if the Black Pearl again sets sail on the bounding main, he might be on board.
"Oh, I'd definitely be open to it. If all the right elements were involved and there it would be great," he admits. "I would say Captain Jack is a character, because he is so much fun to play, that I can certainly see other situations that would be fun to explore as that character."
The international cast of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End features Keira Knightley again as Elizabeth Swann. Bill Nighy returns as Davy Jones with squid-like tentacles covering his face. Stellan Skarsgaard plays Will Turner's father, condemned to an eternity of servitude on Jones's ship, the Flying Dutchman (unless young Will can save him). Like the first two Pirates adventures, At World's End is produced by veteran action filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski.
"What did we do the first time that worked? Well, we took risks and were willing to fail. Trying to recapture that spirit was what it was all about," he says.
Most of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was filmed on location in the Bahamas.