On the one hand, the studio was approaching Matthew McConaughey to play Sparrow after the actor proved a strong group participant on their Touchstone Photos’ Reign of Fireplace—it additionally helped that executives believed McConaughey resembled Burt Lancaster, who simply occurred to star within the final profitable Hollywood pirate film… 1952’s The Crimson Pirate. However Disney was additionally contemplating shuttling the idea over to the direct-to-video market, with both Cary Elwes or Christopher Walken as Captain Jack. Aye, then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner had such chilly toes on the venture, and ultimately about Depp, that he tried to cease manufacturing on the eleventh hour earlier than cameras rolled in 2002, nervous as a result of The Nation Bears (starring Walken) flopped that summer season.
However given the unique setup for the image in these early drafts, it’s simple to see why there was a insecurity within the materials. In its preliminary conception, Pirates of the Caribbean was meant to be a PG buddy comedy a couple of pirate named Jack Sparrow and his jailor Will Turner setting off to rescue the governor’s daughter; she’d been kidnapped for ransom by the dastardly Captain Blackheart, a generic baddie for a extra generic plot. There have been no twists or turns, Aztec treasure and curses, marooned islands, or the subversive streak cherished by the eventual filmmakers who found the center of the film was “sitting on a seashore ingesting rum.”
That inspiration fortunately got here within the fast turnaround of Dick Prepare dinner, the newly minted Walt Disney Movement Photos Group chairman, convincing first Jerry Bruckheimer to supply the flailing Pirates of the Caribbean venture after which, at Bruckheimer’s insistence, speaking oddball actor Johnny Depp into starring in a Disney film. Depp really took the assembly with Prepare dinner to land an animated voice appearing gig that may attraction to his youngsters, however upon listening to the phrase “pirates” and the prospect of sword combating, his ambitions for working at Disney rapidly grew.
With a screenplay being rapidly rewritten by new scribes Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, who’d simply come off Shrek and one other all-time basic swashbuckler in The Masks of Zorro, Pirates of the Caribbean turned a film produced too rapidly by a struggling film studio to totally management, particularly as its transferring components had been transported to the precise Caribbean, together with Elliot and Rossio, who continued rewriting the film on-set to director Gore Verbinski’s specs. For context, Verbinski’s greatest hit at the moment was the decidedly not-family pleasant The Ring.
“To make this movie in below a yr from an overview, it was actually important to convey them in,” Verbinski stated about Elliot and Ross throughout his Curse of the Black Pearl audio commentary. The director had the writers’ shrewd instinct, which added a supernatural curse that upped the film’s CG-spectacle for contemporary blockbusters and made it extra in keeping with the Disneyland journey, in addition to the flexibility so as to add narrative and verbal complexity on the fly.