Although the Pirates of the Caribbean films have been largely successful, it’s hard not to notice that the cast for all five films are 99% male, villains included. But according to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales screenwriter, Terry Rossio, the fifth installment’s villain was originally written to be a female.
Instead, it was rewritten and Javier Bardem cast in the role as Captain Salazar. Rossio admits that it’s Johnny Depp who rejected the idea of a female villain in the film and his reasons are questionable and concerning, especially given his personal history.
Rossio wrote this in a blog post recently:
“My version of Dead Men Tell No Tales was set aside because it featured a female villain, and Johnny Depp was worried that would be redundant to Dark Shadows, which also featured a female villain.”
Depp’s reasoning being that Dark Shadows had a female villain and that it would be redundant is probably the worst reason for not having a female villain. What does that film have to do with this one? And more importantly, there are a ton of male villains, so Depp’s excuse is a terrible one. Changing it up a bit would have been nice. It would have added a bit more diversity to a film that struggles with including more than one or two females at a time.
Rossio’s script was rewritten and the screenwriting credit is now going to Jeff Nathanson. Rossio has writing credits on all four of the previous Pirates films, so Dead Men Tell No Tales will be the first one he wouldn’t have written.
Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.
Directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales stars Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario, Brenton Thwaites, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will be in theaters May 26, 2017.