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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN DEAD MAN'S CHEST

About The Production
In art, as in life, history has a strange way of turning full circle. The first on-screen image ever to appear in an all-live-action Walt Disney Studio feature was none other than a close-up of the skull-and-crossbones Jolly Roger flag in the classic 1950 version of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island.”

Some 53 years later, it took the very same studio's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” to spectacularly reinvent and reinvigorate a moribund genre which once again is delighting millions. From childhood classics like Treasure Island and Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates, to such classic films as "The Black Pirate,” "The Buccaneer” and "The Crimson Pirate,” the swashbuckling tales of high-seas derring-do, both nefarious and noble, were seemingly never-ending.

Alas, as far as filmmakers were concerned, pirates were forgotten as subjects worthy of contemporary moviemaking. It took Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski and a brilliant company of actors and behind-the- scenes artists to breathe new life into the Jolly Roger's sails, inspired by the great Disney Theme Parks attraction which has enchanted generations since its 1967 debut at Disneyland in Anaheim. The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, which utilized the then-brand-new technology of audio-animatronics which Walt Disney and his Imagineers magnificently developed, soon became a major part of pop culture, with its cheery refrains of "Yo ho yo ho, a pirate's life for me” (and the less cheery warning that "Dead men tell no tales”) sung and quoted by millions.

Using the ride as a springboard, with clever references to the attraction's content sprinkled throughout, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” was a smash hit everywhere it played, amassing a domestic U.S. gross of $305,413,918 and, including its record-breaking overseas engagements, a worldwide total of $653,913,918. The film also received five Academy Award® nominations, including Best Actor for Johnny Depp. Like the ride itself, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” appealed to the little bit of pirate that lives within us all, the desire for freedom, adventure and not a small amount of mischief. While paying affectionate homage to the cinematic adventures which preceded it, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” sailed into entirely new territory, breaking with tradition by linking its high-seas tale with lashings of irreverent humor, as typified by Johnny Depp's original and brilliantly inspired creation of Captain Jack Sparrow…a pirate the likes of which audiences had never seen before.

That success was never a sure thing, Bruckheimer now admits. "There were limited expectations for the first ‘Pirates.' Lots of people thought we were making a Disney ride movie for toddlers, and what's more, the pirate genre had been dead for 40 years, and every attempt to revive it had bombed miserably. But then ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl' was released and caught everybody by surprise, which is the best way to do it. The artistry that Gore and the writers brought to it, and the performances by Johnny, Orlando, Keira and Geoffrey, just captured everybody's imagination and it became a huge success internationally.

"Everything that we set up in the first movie gets pushed forward in the second,” Bruckheimer continues, "and of course we have the same creative team. Gore is such a brilliant director, with a wonderful sense of humor and a great visual sense. Often, strongly visual directors aren't great storytellers because they focus so much on the physical look of the movie. But Gore has both the visual acumen and the understanding of storytelling and characterization.

"Johnny, Orlando and Keira are all back for the ride,” adds Bruckheimer, "plus some wonderful and interesting new<

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