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Trivia / Pirates of the Caribbean

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Jack Sparrow's way of talking and behaving was basically Johnny Depp adding to a character that was far more low-brow in concept.
  • Creator Backlash: After the bad experience that was the fifth movie, Johnny Depp has gone on record that he has no plans to return to the franchise.
  • Creator's Pest: Orlando Bloom, while never outright bashing Will Turner, had for some time made it bluntly clear that he wanted nothing to do with the character, and Keira Knightley seems to hold Elizabeth Swann in a similar regard. Predictably, neither returned for the fourth installment. These dispositions, however, appear to come not from the characters themselves, but the romance story that took over the trilogy. Bloom, meanwhile, seems to have since had a change of heart.
  • Cross-Cast Role: Jack the Monkey was played by several capuchins, most of them female.
  • The Danza: The dwarf pirate Marty is played by Martin Klebba.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • Scenes were left out of At World's End which establish that, if the captain of the Flying Dutchman has someone to come home to at the end of his ten years, he can vacate the post to another. Leaving this scene on the cutting-room floor strips important Character Development from Tia Dalma, who knowingly condemned Davy Jones to a Fate Worse than Death by not waiting for him, and Jones himself, whose fury is now more sympathetic. It also downgrades The Stinger from full-on Babies Ever After to a Bittersweet Ending.
    • An alternate scene of Jack and Elizabeth on the island in Curse of the Black Pearl which hinted at the darker side of Jack's nature after Elizabeth learns that the "grand adventure of the infamous Jack Sparrow" boiled down to him spending three days "lying on a beach drinking rum" had her questioning whether there was any truth to the other stories that gave him his reputation as a bad ass pirate, to which Jack responds by showing her various scars all over his arms and chest and then saying "None at all." Prior to this there was another scene where Elizabeth went for a walk around the island to dry herself off and then chastise Jack for wanting to trade Will for a ship, at which point Jack reveals that he never had any intention of doing any such thing, if only because Will was his ace in the hole.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: The 2003 video game Pirates of the Caribbean. It began as a sequel to Sea Dogs before Disney bought the game while it was still being developed and slapped the Pirates name on it at the last minute, as well as adding a narration by Keira Knightley and using the Black Pearl as the game's final boss.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Many of the actors playing pirates have to wear false, rotten teeth, tanning lotion and contacts. Stellan Skarsgård's makeup took four hours to apply in Dead Man's Chest.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • The actors were told that The Reveal at the end of Dead Man's Chest would be of a completely different character - Annamaria, rather than Barbossa - hence their very realistic surprise.
    • The Black Pearl's crew screaming while rolling in the bone cages.
    • Will and Elizabeth's reaction to Jack's little "I've got a jar of dirt" song.
    • Will's reaction to witnessing Elizabeth's kiss of death at the end.
  • Executive Meddling: Disney execs (and fans of the theme park ride) freaked out on reports that Depp was getting his teeth capped with numerous gold teeth and piercings for what was originally intended to be a "kid friendly, spooky" companion film to the now-forgotten 2003 Haunted Mansion movie. Depp's way of handling this was to take out the offending accessories when the Disney handlers complained... and then put them right back on as soon as they walked away.
  • Fake Brit: American Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Australian Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa and Swedish Stellan Skarsgård as Bootstrap Bill. In the fifth film, Rush is joined by fellow Australians Brenton Thwaites and David Wenham.
  • Fake Scot: The Scottish-accented Davy Jones is played by the English Bill Nighy (though Nighy himself claimed Jones is Welsh.)
  • Prop Recycling: The Queen Anne's Revenge was built atop the ship used for the Black Pearl in the previous films.
  • Reality Subtext: The real life British East India Company was The Aggressive Drug Dealer that introduced opium to China.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Disney decided to part ways with Depp during the fifth film's Troubled Production in 2015 but waited until its underperformance at the box office to officially announce it. Drama began early when Depp and then wife Amber Heard got in legal trouble for forging paperwork about taking their dogs with them to Australia. Heard was charged with perjury because the dogs belonged to her but they ended up signing a non-prosecution deal where they had to pay a fine and publicly admit they broke the law. Depp, who’d recently fallen off the wagon, was often late to set and drunk when he did show up. It got so bad that Disney had to hire someone specifically to wait outside his rental house to let them know when he was awake after one incident where he left 1000 extras waiting around for hours and hours. It culminated in Depp going on a weekend long rampage where he did $100,000 worth of damage to said house and in which he smashed the tip of his finger off while punching a wall. After getting stitched up, he had to be flown back to the US to see a specialist and cost the production a precious and expensive two weeks. Depp and Heard would get divorced the following year (after she was granted a domestic violence restraining order) but afterwards went through two separate high profile and nasty lawsuits in both the UK and US about the alleged DV. Depp lost one the former with the judge finding 12 separate incidents having more likely than not to have happened (with two admitted) note  and came to a split decision where both were found to have defamed each other on the latter, though it was eventually settled as the appeals process started. Depp was dropped mid-production from the Fantastic Beasts series after the UK ruling and from a planned return to television in a Harry Houdini miniseries that was in the early stages, signaling his days working with American companies in big productions are over. Especially after the US trial made public sexual assault allegations (Heard had told the judge in the UK and he believed her but this wasn’t included in the documents made available to the public) that were backed up by his medical records that were in a large trove of sealed documents his fans crowdsourced money to get their hands on. The future of the larger franchise is still uncertain, however.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean was released a few weeks before Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and contains a playable version of the entire movie (albeit modified by Rule of Funny, Compressed Adaptation, and Speaking Simlish).
  • Throw It In!:
    • Jack's "bring me that horizon" at the end of Black Pearl was ad-libbed by Johnny Depp.
    • When Barbossa tells Jack "we named the monkey Jack", Jack the Monkey cocks his head and grins. This was pure coincidence.
    • In On Stranger Tides, while Jack runs in the jungle, he trips and falls - and Johnny Depp made sure to keep into character, by hitting the hole with a sword once he got up again!
  • Troubled Production: Planning for the second film began in June 2004, but by November, the script was still not finished which forced Gore Verbinski to start planning some sequences without it. By January 2005 there was still no script, and with that on top of the rising costs for the film, Disney almost cancelled it. Around this time they started shooting...with the writers on hand, still writing the script. The same happened with the third film.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • An entire game, Armada of the Damned, was developed by Propaganda Games, a Canadian video game company acquired by Disney early on that also made the 2008 Turok reboot and TRON: Evolution. It would have been a third-person action-adventure role-playing game set before the events of Curse of the Black Pearl (though some characters and locations from the films would appear), and was described as having gameplay akin to that of Mass Effect. The game would also have an original musical score different from that of the movies, with some of their score only used sparingly. The player would get to choose whether the main character, an aspiring adventurer named James Sterling, would be a Legendary or Dreaded pirate, with each option affecting the story, gameplay and interactions with NPCs differently. A Legendary pirate, for example, would focus on adventure and have flashier moves, like spraying enemies with rum and lighting them on fire, while a Dreaded pirate would live more like an outlaw and have moves using an anchor that had dragged Sterling down into the sea in the prologue. The game got a fair amount of hype after previews were shown at E3 and was nearly released, but was cancelled after Disney restructured their gaming division and most of the Propaganda Games staff was laid off, except for a few who finished the new TRON game. The game's score was instead used in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean.
    • Some early concept art shows a few women among the Flying Dutchman's crew, subverting Cute Monster Girl.
    • Johnny Depp stated in interviews he would be enthusiastic enough to play Jack Sparrow for seven movies, but the fifth movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales, was marketed as the final adventure.
    • Alan Silvestri was originally supposed to score the first film, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer fired him after he included flutes in his demo. Bruckheimer then replaced him with Hans Zimmer's people.
    • Johnny Depp suggested that Jack Sparrow should have no nose, having lost it sometime in the past, leaving a "bloody wound" in its place. Obviously, the film-makers decided against it.
  • Word of God: The creators claim that Will Turner is the best swordsman of the series while Jack Sparrow is actually the worst swordsman of the series, with Norrington and Barbossa evenly matched in terms of swordsmanship (though what Jack lacks in actual talent he makes up for with improvisation and cheating).
  • Word of Saint Paul: Johnny Depp has said that Jack Sparrow has syphilis and that he is bisexual.

The Ride

  • Genius Bonus: At the Magic Kingdom queue area, guests can see two skeletons at a table with a chess board between them. For years, those with chess knowledge could realize the game is set up to always end in a stalemate, meaning the pair are locked in an unwinnable contest. Sadly, during some refurbishments, the original set-up was lost, and so this feature was dropped.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original idea was for a walk-through museum featuring wax figures of pirates. The success of It's A Small World made Disney realize the combination of a boat ride with the advancements in Audio-Animatronics would be better.
    • Originally, there was never to be a version of the ride at Walt Disney World. Disney had assumed that since Florida had so many real pirates-themed attractions, guests wouldn't want a fake one. Instead, they planned an epic Western-themed ride in its place. However, the high demand by guests on Opening Day convinced Disney to quickly put in a version of Pirates which would lead to Western River Expedition never being built.
    • Creator Marc Davis had tried to get ideas for the WDW version that would have included a pirate turning into a skeleton when hit by moonlight.