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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Johnny Depp • Geoffrey Rush • Orlando Bloom
• Keira Knightley
DIRECTOR: Gore Verbinski
PRODUCER: Jerry Bruckheimer

Pirates of the Caribbean THE CONCEPT:
Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp), joins forces with Will Turner (Bloom) to rescue the Governor’s daughter, Elizabeth (Knightley), who has been kidnapped by Captain Barbossa (Rush) and his eerie crew – doomed by a cursed treasure to live forever as the undead.

U.S. RELEASE: July 9 2003, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13


“I loved watching pirate pictures as a kid. Treasure Island, Captain Blood and The Black Pirate were some of my favorites. Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks were formidable, and although their movies are still exciting and very watchable today, I thought we could add some extra pizzazz to a popular theme. I think we take the swashbuckler genre to a new level.”

“When they first approached me, it was literally just a title based on the Disneyland theme park ride. My initial reaction was, ‘Somehow, it sounds really interesting. It sounds fun. Let’s see how it progresses.’ I had a pretty good feeling about it.”

“I was so envious of what Johnny was doing in this film. He created that character. That didn’t read like that on the page. That’s what Johnny does. That’s what’s so amazing about him. Jack Sparrow read like a bit of a rogue, and Johnny created this drunken, sea-legged, Keith Richards.”

“Johnny Depp’s performance is completely outrageous and I love it. I think the first day everyone was like, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘I’m having fun.’ After that we all went, ‘Great.’ I’m such a fan of his. There are very few actors around at the moment who have the courage to do that, and it was really great as a young actress seeing somebody taking a risk and going for it and having a laugh. And it paid off brilliantly.”

DEPP on why he based Sparrow on Keith Richards:
“I was trying to figure out what pirates might have been like, their lifestyle back in the 18th century, and I thought, ‘Oh, man, they were the rock and roll stars of the era.’ And the greatest rock and roll star of all time to me is Keith Richards. So I went in that direction, and then I got a couple of other ideas, like Pepe Le Pew was also a character that I thought would work.”

BLOOM on how he seems to be in ‘sword’ movies:
“Crazy, isn’t it? I haven’t said, ‘Is there a sword in that movie? Alright, I’ll do it!’ It’s just kind of worked out like that. Now I have these great skills that are completely useless in everyday life. Like a bow and arrow (in Lord of the Rings), what am I going to do with that walking down the street?”

“I think Barbossa is actually quite smart. That’s probably why he’s survived, because he used preemptive logic to map out his plans and deceive people. He pretends to be a gentleman of the sea, but he is a dirty old cunning rogue.”

“I thought that Sparrow knew the greatest secret that Barbossa wanted hidden, and I was actually going to add it into the film, but once you start getting into sword fights and things like that you run out of time. I thought that Barbossa’s greatest secret was that his first name was Hector. I’d come up to Geoffrey on the set and say, ‘Good morning, Hector.’ He’d laugh.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl site
Images above © Walt Disney Pictures
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #632, Summer 2003 cover

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