Disney Movie History | Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

This week marked the 15th Anniversary of one of the most Magical Disney films ever: Pirates of the Caribbean! 

While The Curse of the Black Pearl is a movie we've watched countless times, we couldn't help but ponder the history behind the film. Where did the personality of Jack Sparrow come from? How did they manage to turn the crew into skeletons? Let's dig into some of the history and fun facts behind the making of The Curse of the Black Pearl!

First things first, The Curse of the Black Pearl, originally titled "Pirates of the Caribbean" with no subtitle, was not expected to be a success. The creators only decided to add a subtitle in case the movie was a success and they could follow it with a sequel. Great call! As soon as the movie hit the box office, Disney executives could rest easy. In just its first week of showing, Pirates brought in nearly 70 million in revenue, only to go on to set worldwide records for Box Office ranking (it stayed at #1 for 8 weeks) and be nominated for several awards including Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards.

Aside from the immediate and lasting success of the film overall, it was also Johnny Depp's first venture into a leading role of a major motion picture. Boy, did he deliver. According to those who worked on the set, and Depp himself, the inspiration for the eclectic and easygoing nature of Jack Sparrow was derived from a very notable musician - Keith Richards! Of course, if you've seen At World's End, you'll notice that the writers were fond of the impression since Jack Sparrow's father (Captain Teague) is none other than Keith Richards! Of course, he is. Of course! Interestingly, at first, the writers and producers were not fond of the Jack Sparrow they were seeing. While he didn't fit the mold of the traditional pirate character, it proved to be the perfect personality for a sailing scoundrel like Jack.

As it turns out, Johnny Depp had some creative liberties in his script that made it into the final cut of the movie! Did you know that his use of the word "savvy" (which happens very frequently throughout the film) was actually just a random addition by Depp? We didn't either! Also, the line at the end of the film "Bring me that horizon," was something Depp thought of on the spot. It's almost fitting, isn't it? That Jack Sparrow would come up with his own lines during the filming process? Again, of course, he did.

Although Captain Jack and his adventures are the focus of much of the film, there were several other characters with interesting backgrounds as well. Did you know that Keira Knightley was only 17 while the movie was being filmed? Again, neither did we! That's crazy! It's reported that her mother was on set for each day of filming, which is just awesome, in our opinion!

Finally, as every movie comes to an end, so does today's blog. But not before we share one last awesome fact!

The Curse of the Black Pearl was the very first movie to premiere at Disneyland! It makes a ton of sense, being that it was modeled after the ride at the Park, but it's still really cool to learn! The success of the film opened the gates for movies like The Lone Ranger and Tomorrowland that were also shown first at the Park. Leave it to Jack Sparrow to carve his own path for others to follow, right?

Hope you enjoyed today's blog and that you're having a Magical day!

See you soon!

Walt Life

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