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Trivia / Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Jack Sparrow was written as a far more lowbrow character; very suave and serious. Johnny Depp opted to play him more as a Keith Richards type. He also had the idea that Jack would have gold teeth.
  • Billing Displacement: Keira Knightley is the fourth billed of the leads, due to being the only unrecognisable name at the time - when Elizabeth is a more prominent character than Barbossa (who does not appear until nearly forty minutes in).
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  • Fake Brit: Lee Arenberg does a pretty decent cockney accent as Pintel.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Australian Geoffrey Rush doing a typical 'pirate' voice, implying that Barbossa is either Scottish or Irish.
    • American Johnny Depp gives Jack an ambiguous accent that's meant to show he's travelled the world. It's not quite English and not quite Australian.
    • Zoe Saldana also affects an ambiguously Afro-Caribbean accent for Anamaria.
  • Follow the Leader: Came out after another throwback to a dormant period genre film Gladiator. The Nostalgia Chick pointed out how both also were gritty in style but having a supernatural veneer. Not to mention the musical pieces they have that often get compared to each other.
  • He Also Did: One of the writers for this movie was Jay Wolpert- better known in the game show community as a creator of off-the-wall or just plain weird shows.
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  • Old Shame: Zoe Saldana does not look back on her role as Annamaria fondly. Not due to the film itself, but rather the bad experiences she had on set. She says the experience almost made her quit acting altogether—and thus opted not to return for the sequels.
  • Saved from Development Hell: The script was originally written back in the 90s, Steven Spielberg getting ahold of it and wanting to direct—with Bill Murray, Steve Martin or Robin Williams playing Jack. Disney however would not allow the movie to be made.
  • Star-Making Role: Although she'd gotten attention with The Hole and Bend It Like Beckham, this brought Keira Knightley to international attention. It also had the effect of typecasting her as a Spirited Young Lady in period films. She initially tried to avoid this with projects like The Jacket, Domino and King Arthur—but eventually she gave in and got nominated for an Oscar in Pride & Prejudice (2005).
  • Throw It In!:
    • Jack's Catchphrase "savvy" was frequently ad-libbed by Johnny Depp. As was the last line of the movie, "Bring me that horizon."
    • Will imitating Jack was likewise Orlando Bloom's idea and he asked producers if he could put it in.
    • Jack the monkey smiling after Barbossa thanks him for returning the medallion? Complete fluke and was not planned out in any way.
  • Unbuilt Casting Type: Here in her breakout role, Keira Knightley plays a Spirited Young Lady who ends up on a pirate ship and is proved to be Not So Above It All. Her Proper Lady qualities are also played for plenty of laughs. She almost feels like she's parodying the various coming of age ladies she'd be typecast as.
  • Underage Casting: Keira Knightley was just sixteen at the time but Younger Than They Look.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Producers actually considered releasing the film direct to video. Reportedly if they had, Christopher Walken, Rik Mayall and Cary Elwes would have been their choices for the leads.
    • Jack Sparrow was written with Hugh Jackman in mind. However as Jackman was not as well known to American audiences yet, Disney chose to cast Johnny Depp as a more recognizable star. Matthew McConaughey was also considered.
    • Originally titled just Pirates of the Caribbean. The subtitle was added in the hopes that a sequel could be produced if it did well.
    • An early version of the script had Elizabeth outright turning down Norrington's proposal at the beginning of the film. As a result, Norrington would join Barbossa and plot to take over the Caribbean.
    • Former Batman actors Michael Keaton and Christian Bale were both reportedly considered for the lead roles, Keaton as Jack Sparrow and Bale as Will Turner, respectively. Jim Carrey was offered the role of Jack, but he was busy with Bruce Almighty.
    • Ewan McGregor and Tobey Maguire were considered for Will. Tom Hiddleston auditioned.
    • Jessica Alba auditioned for Elizabeth.
    • Robert De Niro turned down either Jack or Barbossa because he thought that pirate movies were box office poison. He regretted that decision, and later appeared as a pirate in Stardust.
    • Johnny Depp apparently lobbied hard for Jack to have once had his nose cut off and sewn back on, and as a result was deathly afraid of losing it again. He even tried to suggest that the nose be slightly blue. This was rejected for being too weird.
  • Word of God: The first names of several characters in this are revealed on the DVD Commentary—Weatherby for Governor Swann, Hector for Barbossa and James for Norrington. All names were later made Canon in the sequels.


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