Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is phenomenal on the theaters right now and the original Pirates of the Caribbean cast shares some interesting set stories, including being trained by Star Wars’ Darth Vader himself.
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise first debuted in 2003 with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Its success later gave birth to more Pirates titles: Dead Man’s Chest in 2006, At World’s End in 2007, and On Stranger Tides in 2011. And the undeniable success of Dead Men Tell No Tales this 2017 is, of course, also thanks to the strong fan base that the prior movies have set.
Hollywood Reporter talked to three of the original Pirates of the Caribbean cast: Jack Davenport (Commodore James Norrington, who seeks the hand of Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann), Lee Arenberg (Pintel, the pirate who gets into shenanigans with Ragetti), and David Bailie (the silent pirate Cotton), and found out stories behind the blockbuster title.
Pirates of the Caribbean demands one hell of a budget, that much is obvious. But did you know that millions of dollars were spent on snack alone? Davenport reveals that the filming crew and cast was so huge for Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End that he once became curious enough to ask the craft services chef how much it takes to feed everyone.
“I remember saying to him one day ‘What is your budget for all this?’ He looked me square in the eye and said ‘essentially unlimited.’ I was like ‘what does that mean?’ He was like ‘I don’t know, $2 million.’ I was like ‘For snacks?’ And he was like ‘yeah?’ That sounds frivolous but it wasn’t. He obviously had to keep people fed.”
Pirating is no joke and it took not only immense acting training but also “pirating” skills workshops for the actors of the Pirates of the Caribbean to carry their part well.
Arenberg reveals that all Pirates of the Caribbean actors had to undergo cannons and sword training in Pirate School, headed by the man who lent many hours on Star Wars as the body of Darth Vader, the late lightsaber master Bob Anderson.
Bob Anderson is an Olympic fencer, film swordsman, fight director and stunt performer, best known for reprising the role of Darth Vader in earlier Star Wars movies The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He passed away, The Guardian reports, in 2012 at 89-years-old.
We couldn’t imagine Pirates of the Caribbean right now without the iconic Johnny Depp giving life to the character of Captain Jack Sparrow. And surprisingly, in a different universe, Johnny Depp wouldn’t have been Jack Sparrow at all.
The Things report that Johnny Depp wasn’t the first one to be approached with the role. It was Robert De Niro who was first approached by Disney to do the films but he turned it down, having thought that it would have no chance to be successful at the box office.
Another surprising tidbit about the Pirates of the Caribbean movies is that the Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End were both rushed into production without a complete, approved script. In fact, the final script of the second Pirates film only came to Director Gore Verbinski’s desk a few weeks before filming—which means everyone was preparing for stuff they still had no idea about.
This is why a lot of adlib, actually, made it into the film. Everyone and everything was adlibbed, in fact, not only by Johnny Depp (although his theatrical and verbal adlibs were superb and built the very character of Captain Jack Sparrow), including a huge bulk of the script and the stunts.
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales is already sailing to great heights, hitting $270.6 million at the international box office, Variety reports. It’s expected to full $300 million over the four-day domestic holiday.
[Featured Image by Walt Disney Pictures]