UPDATE: September 8th, 2015: A little late I know, but some information in this post has since changed. I was fortunate enough to be amongst 8,000 Disney fans at the 2015 D23 Expo from August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. I stayed up all night and waited in line in fervid anticipation for any POTC5 news that came our way at the Walt Disney Studios Live Action panel first, then onto the Internet in a matter of mere minutes.
So, yes, I got to see Johnny Depp, in full Jack Sparrow regalia, in person. Yes, I made eye contact with him, and yes, I can officially die happy now. He also threw grapes at us, but that’s beside the point:
Orlando Bloom HAS been confirmed for his return in Pirates of the Caribbean; Dead Men Tell No Tales. I congratulate Disney on keeping Mr. Bloom’s return to the series completely secret, waiting to reveal his presence at the D23 Expo.
Now back to our originally scheduled programming!
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: AUGUST 29th, 2015: Dear Disney Powers that Be: HEAR THE WORDS OF A RATIONAL (albeit terrified) FAN.
It all started in 2003 when you released the first installment of what would become one of the most successful franchises of all time. You took an obscure Disneyland attraction and made it a household name. Somehow, you discovered the perfect recipe: you start with a Bruckheimer and a well placed foundation by Elliot and Rossio, add a dash of Gore Verbinski, add several cups of Depp, Bloom, Knightley, Rush, McNally, Davenport and more, and finish it off by decorations by Zimmer, Rose, and Wolzski, plus a couple thousand more extras and crew members, and you have an unprecedented success for a total of three films.
Then, the system was broken. While both the second and third installments began to drift with critics, they both remain in the list of the top highest grossing films of all time. You could have left well enough alone. That’s when the decision came about to make a fourth film. Verbinski was out. Knightley was out, and therefore Bloom was ousted as well. Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio wrote a script with added restrictions: the idea was to have this film mirror the first film in simplicity and spirit, but with added simplicity came killing of beloved members of the original Pearl crew. Rob Marshall came in to direct the film, and though doing a commendable job, the film itself was devoid of the magic and adventure of the first three, and was riddled with plot holes. Though still earning over $1 billion worldwide, it was clear that the Pirates love was declining rapidly.
When the idea for a fifth film was first tossed around, many rumors surrounded the casting. Confirmed for return was Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, and Kevin McNally as Gibbs. On the contrary, Keira Knightly confirmed that she would NOT be returning as Elizabeth Swann. Rumored was Christoph Waltz as the story’s villain, known on IMDB.com as simply, “Captain Brand,” as well as Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, and Martin Klebba, all members of the original Pearl crew who were supposedly killed offscreen in between the events of the third and fourth films. Also rumored were (my personal favorite) Jack Davenport as Norrington and most notably Orlando Bloom as Will Turner. The return of deceased characters such as The Pearl crew and Norrington could be attributed to the fact that they all died at sea, and therefore could have had their souls saved by Will Turner, the new captain of The Flying Dutchman.
Then things started to become set in stone as Orlando Bloom heavily advocated for his hopes to return to the Pirates franchise, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg were hired to follow in the directing footsteps of Gore Verbinski and Rob Marshall, and Kara Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites were cast. A bit more concerning news surfaced that Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, who had penned the previous four films had been replaced by Jeff Nathanson, the screenwriter of The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can, and Speed 2. The government of Australia offered the production $19 million in tax incentives to film in Queensland, Australia, and Jerry Bruckheimer promised fans a more “back to basics” pirate film. Christoph Waltz backed out of the project due to scheduling issues, and was replaced by Javier Bardem as a character known as “Captain Salazar.”
Suddenly, Pirates fans’ worlds were thrown into turmoil as a rapid-fire surge of news that contradicted prior information began to surface. First, Jack Davenport, Mackenzie Crook, and Lee Arenberg were taken off the cast list altogether, rumored or otherwise. Arenberg even expressed his disappointment via Twitter:
Additionally, Brenton Thwaites, when questioned upon his upcoming role in the film with The Mirror, let a major plot point slip.
“It’s about a young man who wants to reconnect with his father, Davy Jones. There’s a curse that prevents him from doing that. I think it’s about how he goes around that and tries to fix it and he has to save his dad. I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a lot of fun!”
Sir, I’m not sure you realize who Davy Jones is. HE’S WILL TURNER NOW. Thwaites unknowingly confirmed Will Turner’s presence in the storyline. But even more concerning is the news that as of July 8, 2015, production has officially wrapped on the fifth film, despite the fact that A) Orlando Bloom has not been anywhere near Australia since production began at the start of the year and B) Dead Men Tell No Tales‘s release date is TWO YEARS AWAY.
So here is this earnest fan’s plea to the Walt Disney Company, Jerry Bruckheimer, and the sea goddess Calypso herself: MAKE PIRATES 5 RIGHT. It isn’t too late! You have two whole years to figure this out! Bring Bloom back, bring Davenport back, bring everybody who wants to come back BACK. Sure, I’m just a girl who thinks far too much about the entertainment industry for any healthy person, but I can fly out to London and personally try to convince Ms. Knightly for at least a ten second cameo! While I’m at it, I’ll try to get Penelope Cruz as Angelica back as well! Why she isn’t in the film at all while her husband is playing the villain is beyond me, but I digress!
I speak for the Pirates fan-base as a whole when I state what we are looking for from this last film:
1) That is IS the last film. No more, please! Put a nice little bow on it and we’ll love and appreciate all five for what they are!
2) That, at the very least, Orlando Bloom comes back as Will Turner. MAKE HIS DREAMS COME TRUE. MAKE OUR DREAMS COME TRUE.
3) An epic, large scale and fresh-feeling climatic battle ensues, be it via sword, cannon, or pistol. We want drama, flair, and action. Bring it on!
4) UNDER NO MEANS ARE YOU TO TRY TO REPLICATE A WILL/ELIZABETH LOVE STORY WITH MS. SCODELARIO AND MR. THWAITES. You tried that in On Stranger Tides with the mermaid and the missionary, and look how well that worked out for you! **note to self: Write the pilot for a sitcom entitled “The Mermaid and the Missionary.” That’s comedy GOLD right there!**
5) Make it nostalgic as hell! It will have been fourteen years since the first film was released back in 2003 when Dead Men Tell No Tales premieres. Most of your fan-base and audience grew up with these movies, so make it a testament to our youth! Cheesy is good (but don’t make cheesy dialogue. That is just unforgivable.)!
That’s all I ask, Disney. You are SO dedicated to your ever-growing list of live action reboots of your animated classics, so spend the extra time you have to make this film a classic finale to a record-breaking franchise.
No no. No need to thank or repay me. Hey listen: If I’ve influenced your filmmaking in any way, you don’t even need to put me in the end credits. But you know…if you could get this guy a cameo and satisfy my nerd heart….
…I would be willing to call it even!