Enforced Method Acting: Much of the filming was done onboard of the Rose, a modern replica of the 18th century frigate HMS Rose, which was a semi-contemporary of the real HMS Surprise. All actors were given a crash course on 18th century sea-faring. Also during rehearsals, all actors were given tags based on whether they are officers or sailors. This enhanced the sense of camradery within each group, and made sure the actors felt that officers and sailors should not mix. Officers actors were also given a nice clubhouse to rest in throughout the filming.
Executive Meddling: Russel Crowe and Paul Bettany learned how to play violin and cello for their respective roles, but were dubbed over in the final cut with professional recordings.
Fake Brit: Jack is an Englishman played by an Aussie.
Stillborn Franchise: The film adaptation had nearly the entire cast signed on for multiple sequels AND they bought the actual boat they used to make sure it was going to be available. It made enough money for it to be deemed a financial success, as well as being well received critically, but not enough to make the sequel a sure thing, and in the end it never happened. The principal cast have all said over and over that they'd love to do more, and so has Peter Weir. Weir just tends to take a long time in between his projects. He also said that shooting a film on water is the hardest thing a director can do, and thus he'd really need to be sure that it'd be worth it.