DEPP & BRUCKHEIMER TALK PIRATES
The Los Angeles Times recently spoke with star Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer about Disney's forthcoming adventure picture, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Depp and Bruckheimer each spoke about what drew them to the $140-million project, and the latter also addressed the fact that Disney has turned a page by allowing Pirates to be its first PG-13 family film.
Bruckheimer is very frank about how he almost passed on the project, which is based on the famous Disney theme park ride. He didn't care for Jay Wolpert's initial Pirates screenplay, calling it 'a straight pirate movie' and advised Disney execs, 'I don't know what to do with this.'
Nevertheless, Bruckheimer brought in Shrek and Mask of Zorro scribes Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio who cooked up the notion that the villainous pirates would be cursed. Now hooked, Bruckheimer promised Disney execs that he'd 'make the best movie possible and it won't be an R.'
Bruckheimer says Disney saw the writing on the wall and realized that, in order to compete with PG-13 summer fare like X2 and 2 Fast 2 Furious, its tentpole release had to be edgier. '(Disney execs) see all these huge movies that are acceptable to parents that are PG-13,' Bruckheimer said. 'They're moving with the marketplace.'
But securing a PG-13 rating and staying true to the cutthroat nature of 18th century piracy proved a difficult task. Even some Disney execs admitted to the Times that Pirates is still a little too intense for younger kids. One exec advised the paper that she won't be taking her five-year-old to see it.
Then there was the issue of casting quirky actor Johnny Depp in the lead role of pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. Bruckheimed wanted Depp for the part because he's 'an edgy actor who will kind of counter the Disney Country Bears soft quality and tell an audience that an adult and teenager can go see this and have a good time with it.'
Johnny Depp is 'an edgy actor who will kind of counter the Disney Country Bears soft quality.'
Depp, though, almost immediately worried both Bruckheimer and Disney by having his front teeth capped with gold! 'Jerry was slightly uncomfortable and the Disney executives weren't exactly enthusiastic about it,' Depp admits. 'I said, 'Look, these are the choices I made. You know my work. So either trust me or give me the boot.' And luckily, they didn't.'
The actor reveals that he patterned his portrayal of Jack Sparrow after a rather infamous celebrity. 'I was reading about the 18th century pirates and thought they were kind of like rock stars,' explains Depp. 'So, when I thought, 'Who is the greatest rock 'n' roll star of all time?'' Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was Depp's answer!
For more of what Bruckheimer, Depp and the Disney execs had to say, check out The Los Angeles Times. Thanks to Dark Horizons for the heads-up!
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl opens July 9.
Courtesy of Filmforce IGN