Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow ‘made everyone nervous’ says Pirates of the Caribbean director

Johnny Depp surprises fans as Captain Jack Sparrow

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To date, there have been five Pirates of the Caribbean movies, with the original trilogy being directed by Gore Verbinski. Now the 56-year-old has opened up on the intense filmmaking journey which began with big doubts surrounding first movie The Curse of the Black Pearl and Johnny Depp’s Oscar-nominated performance as Jack Sparrow. While the original’s success led to the director living in “survival mode”, as he raced to meet the back-to-back sequels’ release dates even before the scripts had been written.

Speaking with Collider, Gore said: “I would say that Pirates 1 had an energy to it, which was essentially, ‘You’re crazy’.

“I remember pitching it to [Hans] Zimmer and he said, ‘You’re mad! You’re making a pirate movie? Nobody’s going to see a pirate movie.’”

The reactions were unsurprising given that the last big pirates genre movie Cutthroat Island was the biggest box-office bomb of all time and saw Carolco Pictures close down.

The Pirates of the Caribbean director said of helming The Curse of the Black Pearl: “It was resoundingly, ‘That’s the worst idea ever.’ And there was something exciting about that.”

Gore continued: “It was so doomed to fail. You’re setting out to go make a genre that literally doesn’t work, or there’s so much historical proof that it will not work.”

Depp’s audacious and eccentric take on Jack Sparrow wasn’t exactly helping calm such nerves either.

The director said: “So, you’re making everybody nervous. The studio’s nervous. Everybody’s nervous about Johnny Depp’s performance. Everybody’s nervous about the story.

“It’s convoluted — they’re returning the treasure, wait they’ve taken the treasure back, they’re cursed? Everything about that had a spirit of madness to it.”

Johnny Depp discusses Pirates of the Caribbean in 2017

The Curse of the Black Pearl went on to make over $654 million worldwide on a budget of $140 million, while Depp’s Sparrow was loved the world over.

But with success, Gore was thrown right back out there to shoot Pirates 2 and 3 back-to-back.

Gore shared how they had to shoot the end of the trilogy early on into the production of Dead Man’s Chest without a script for Pirates 3, as they knew they wouldn’t be returning to that part of the Caribbean.

With just 10 weeks of post-production on At World’s End, the director was faced with a huge challenge.

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The Pirates director shared: “I was 30 pounds overweight. Literally, there’s no sleep. Zero.

“It was pure survival mode by the time we got to the third one.”

In the end, the work paid off, with Dead Man’s Chest making over $1 billion at the box office in 2006 and At World’s End taking $961 million a year later.

Gore didn’t return to helm the fourth and fifth films which made over $1 billion and $794 million respectively.

Interestingly, the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy director hasn’t seen On Stranger Tides or Dead Men Tell No Tales (aka Salazar’s Revenge in the UK).

Gore said: “I haven’t gotten around to it, to be honest with you. I have not felt any drive.

“I suppose if they were on TV and I saw one, I would watch it, but I’m very busy working on what’s in front of me… I’m sure I will at some point.”

A sixth Pirates film, a spin-off starring Margot Robbie, is currently in the works at Disney, although Depp is currently not expected to return as Captain Jack.

READ THE FULL COLLIDER ARTICLE HERE

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