Pirates of the Caribbean 4: Jack Sparrow"s back for a Cruz, but Keira jumps ship
Pirates of the Caribbean”s Jack Sparrow is back for a Cruz, but Keira jumps ship
2:00 AM on 13th May 2011
Pirates of the Caribbean brought Johnny Depp to unprecedented levels of fame as the swashbuckling — if unsteady-on-his-feet — Jack Sparrow.
The three films have earned billions at the box office worldwide, and now a fourth, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is set for general release next week.
Depp says this latest story will be simpler and, with new pirates Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane climbing aboad, even more timber-shivering than its predecessors.
Newcomer: Penelope Cruz portrays the beautiful and piratical Angelica, first mate of the Queen Anne”s Revenge
‘There were times, particularly during the making of Pirates 2 and 3, that I wasn’t sure what was going on,’ he admits.
‘I would go to the director and say, “I don’t really know what this scene means”,’ says Depp.
‘He’d say: “Neither do I, but let’s just shoot it.” This time, it’s more irreverent, greater fun, the characters are more interesting and the story is told so everyone can understand it — kids, the critics, even me!’
WALKING THE PLANK
Gone are Jack’s cohorts, Will and Elizabeth (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley), the couple having married and sailed off into the sunset.
Pirate Ragetti (played by The Office’s Mackenzie Crook) and his wooden eye has also called it a day, with Crook saying: ‘They hadn’t asked me. But actually I don’t mind.
Back on his boat: Johnny Depp is the freedom-loving Captain Jack Sparrow in the fourth film
“I’m a fan of the first one especially and I think the trilogy we made is great. I’d almost have liked them to leave it at three.’
On board for the first time is Jack Sparrow’s latest adversary, Blackbeard, played by British actor McShane, and his daughter Angelica, played by Penelope Cruz.
As the series’ first female pirate, Cruz has a love-hate relationship with Sparrow. ‘If you had a sister and a dog, I’d pick the dog,’ he tells her.
Says Cruz: ‘Angelica is manipulative and dangerous but also has a good heart’ — making her a lot like Sparrow, but with rather less eyeliner.
Cruz was pregnant with her first child during the shoot, giving British costume designer Penny Rose several headaches.
‘We designed a kind of lady highwayman look for Angelica and then had to ditch certain elements when Penelope was pregnant’ she says. ‘Corsets were an absolute no-no.’
SPINNING A YARN
Jack Sparrow is searching for the fabled Fountain of Youth — a spring which restores youthfulness to whomever drinks from it.
Search for youth: Captain Jack and Angelica make their way through the jungle in search of the Fountain of Youth
On his travels he meets old flame Angelica, who forces him to board the ship of her father, the barbarous pirate Blackbeard.
Along the way Jack battles old enemies Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and first mate Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally) and encounters zombies and mermaids.
MAKING A SPLASH
One of the film’s most eye-catching sequences involves the crew of Blackbeard’s ship attempting to harness a mermaid since a mermaid’s tear is a key ingredient of the potion required for the secret of eternal youth.
A team of 22 synchronised swimmers (some of whom had competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics) were employed for the action sequences, using a ‘dolphin kick’, where they jumped high out of the water while keeping their legs together to simulate the movements of mermaids.
The swimmers’ lower bodies were then digitally transformed to resemble the mermaids’ tails.
Latest instalment: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is out in cinemas next Wednesday
former pirate captain Barbossa, now working in the court of King George II as a mercenary, is minus a leg — down payment perhaps for the arm and a leg it cost to get Depp to reprise his role as Sparrow (reputed to be around 32 million).
Jack the Monkey, Barbossa’s pet capuchin, is absent from his master’s shoulder for nearly all the film, making just one fleeting appearance. Geoffrey Rush admits mournfully: ‘I missed the smell of Jack’s peanut breath’.
Penny Rose is relieved, though. ‘In the earlier films it took longer to fit out the monkeys than it did the actors.’
Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is released in cinemas next Wednesday.