Gather round to hear the tale of how Disney‘s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales came to be.
The cast and directors of the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean film took some time to talk about their love of the franchise and share a few stories about the production process. This is co-directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s first foray into the pirate world, and for the two life-long collaborators it couldn’t have been a better experience.
“It was something I always dreamt about as a kid,” said Rønning. “We started making films together when we were about 10 years old, and movies like Pirates of the Caribbean reminds me of the films we watched back then that inspired us to become filmmakers.”
Sandberg said the two directors looked over the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise for inspiration during pre-production.
“We really studied the movies, especially the first one, to make sure we understood what makes that a great film and why audiences all over the world fell in love with it.”
He spoke about how they wanted to make sure the movie had the unique balance of humor, horror and romance that the earlier movies had. More than anything else, they “wanted to make sure we very strong journey for all our characters that felt like personal journeys.”
No journey felt more sincere and well-crafted than Kaya Scodelario’s new character Carina Smyth. Scodelario described her Pirates of the Caribbean character as the most progressive female protagonist in the franchise.
“She’s just a simple woman in this time who doesn’t want to be put in a box,” Scodelario said. “She isn’t a pirate, she isn’t a superhero, she’s just an intelligent young woman who is determined and has a mission she sticks to.”
Javier Bardem, who plays the new Pirates of the Caribbean villain Captain Salazar, described coming to the set for ‘On Stranger Tides’ to visit his wife Penelope Cruz as instrumental to his decision to join the franchise. The long-time fan of the franchise, who said Captain Jack Sparrow should be considered one of the most iconic film characters, thinks the production quality and respect on set translate into movie magic.
“I would walk around my boat and lift a plate and see hand carved things on the wood that the art department did no one else would ever see. But it was there. You have to respect that and be responsible for that and bring it into your performance.”
According to executive producer and granddaddy of the entire Pirates of the Caribbean franchise Jerry Bruckheimer, it took about three years to get the story for this movie right. And even after the movie was ready, Bruckheimer said the movie got stuck behind Disney’s other massive properties, mainly Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars.
“This was a much easier story line to follow than the previous ones and we did that on purpose. It’s about 20, 30 minutes shorter and it cost less money even though on screen it’s much bigger.”
Bruckheimer said that he hasn’t heard about any plans for a Pirates of the Caribbean spin off, but added coyly that “you never know.”