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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest

In the summer of 2003, a new movie landed like a cannon ball in movie theaters across the land. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” had something for everyone – laughs, adventure, romance, gorgeous costumes, creepy skeletons, and larger-than-life characters. No wonder all of America was talking like a pirate – even though pirate movies have long been considered box-office poison in Hollywood, this one took no prisoners.

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It’s been a long three years, but on July 7 Captain Jack Sparrow and crew will be back, with dastardly new villains, a heart-thumping new quest, and a full shipload of familiar faces. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” reunites Jack (Johnny Depp), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) in a quest that will bring them face-to-face with a terrifying new menace in the person of Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) – and reunite Will with his long-lost father, Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgard). There’s some rough sailing ahead in the Caribbean -- and we’d hate to miss a moment of it!

Fans of “Black Pearl” are thrilled – and so is Terry Rossio, who cowrote both films (and the upcoming third, which will complete the trilogy) with his partner Ted Elliott.

Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest
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According to Terry, when they wrote the first film no one was sure that it would spawn sequels … or even that anyone would want to see it! “Given the cursed nature of the pirate genre, we thought there was a good chance we were making the last pirate film that would be made for the next 20 years,” he laughs. “My writing partner, Ted Elliott, predicted the final box-office number pretty closely. I think he was the only person in the world who knew.” Now Captain Jack Sparrow will become part of a truly classic Disney crew in July, as Disneyland park and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World resort will unveil some fresh additions to the classic Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Captain Jack will now appear in the attraction, along with his ... nemesis, Captain Barbossa, and the ghostly Davy Jones.

It’s a fitting step in the ring of inspiration that led from the attraction to the films, which are full of loving tributes to the pirate experience that has delighted generations of Theme Park Guests. The attraction was the source of Terry’s favorite moment in “Black Pearl”—“When Barbossa drinks the wine and it splashes down through his chest. That's where the story of the movie dovetails exactly into a key image from the attraction (and a special nod of gratitude to designer Marc Davis for that image).” And in “Dead Man’s Chest”? Says Terry, “We used so many key attraction images in the first film, there weren't a lot left! But be on the lookout for the dunked-water-spitting mayor.”

Writer Terry Rossio promises even more action in the new Pirates film!

Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest
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It’s no wonder that the films so lovingly reflect the spirit of the attraction – according to Terry, it’s practically in the writers’ blood. “We grew up in Orange County, California, and I spent many days each summer at Disneyland. I must have ridden Pirates 100 times. I didn't know it at the time, but now I'm going to count that as research,” he says. And the resulting movies feel very DISNEY – full of the adventure, wonder, and high spirits that Walt himself loved. It’s no coincidence that so many Disney films and attractions feature pirates – from “Peter Pan” and the first all-live-action Disney film, “Treasure Island,” to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction itself.

Robert Tieman, Manager of the Walt Disney Archives, tell us, “There is some evidence that a version of the Pirates attraction was part of the earliest concept sketches of Disneyland. A 1954 sketch by Disney artist Herb Ryman shows a small section of Adventureland labeled ‘Pirate Shack’ and ‘Bluebeard's Den,’ but nothing came of those early renderings.

“When New Orleans Square first started being talked about as a separate area of Disneyland (1957/58), Walt began thinking about what kinds of attractions could populate the area. The first idea was a Wax Museum type of walk-through building featuring pirates. Lots of years of story and conceptual artwork followed before the attraction finally opened in 1967.”

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Terry promises us that each film in the trilogy will offer its surprises, and its own unique feel. “Pirates 2 is more action-packed and effects-packed and introduces four new main characters to the pirates world. As far as Pirates 3, let's talk this time NEXT year!”

Will there be a “Pirates 4”? Terry laughs, “That's like asking someone who has just collapsed at the finish line to run the marathon again!” Fans will have to wait and wonder to see what the upcoming chapters of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" saga will hold. Terry does say that the third film will wrap up the story of Captain Jack, Will, and Elizabeth in a satisfying way -- but as old sea dogs know, there's always room for more adventure, if that's what the cards should hold.

Visit the official site, but be warned -- here thar be Pirates!

*Disney Insider


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