The fourth installment of the ‘Pirate’ movies, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,’ hits theaters on May 20, 2011. While I’ve been looking forward to seeing this, I can’t say I’ve been majorly excited about it, mainly because the second and third installments were sort of blah for me. The plots were complicated, the special effects were over-the-top, and the characters I loved from the first movie were sucked into the storyline.
Apparently, Johnny Depp feels the same way. In the May 13 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Depp says, “It was plot-driven and complicated. I remember talking to [Gore Verbinski, director of the first three films] at certain points during production of 2 or 3, and saying: ‘I don’t really know what this means.’ He said, ‘Neither do I, but let’s just shoot it.’ This guy is this guy’s dad, and this guy was in love with this broad. It was like, ‘What?’”
Ok, seriously, people. If the star and director of the film doesn’t know what the heck it’s about, how are WE supposed to know?
But supposedly this fourth film will get things back on track. I’m hopeful, and here are five reasons why:
1. ‘On Stranger Tides’ will be a stand-alone film. “I felt if we were going to do a 4, that more than anything we owed the audience a fresh start, without all the complicated mathematics of 1 colliding with 2 and 2 colliding with 3,” Depp says. “I felt like it was important to eliminate as many complications as possible.”
2. Depp is taking a bigger part in the production. He was more involved at the script stage to avoid the muddled storylines of the last two movies. “Let’s give them something character-driven,” he says. “Something fun and irreverent. Hoops of fire and whatnot. New blood, as it were.” But not too much new blood, because…
3. ‘Tides’ will be shorter with fewer characters. The film focuses squarely on Captain Jack, who’s driven by regret over a woman, Angelica (Penelope Cruz), the daughter of the merciless pirate Blackbard (Ian McShane). I’m a little bummed that Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom aren’t in this movie, but I’m hoping Cruz will fill the void.
4. There’s a mermaid. Syrena the Mermaid is played by French actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey, and she’s somehow essential to unlocking the power of the Fountain of Youth, the crux of the story. Just the idea of a mermaid in the movie makes me want to go see it.
5. Rob Marshall takes over as director. And he’s pushing Capt. Jack beyond a wisecracking guy with a sword. We get to see a pirate who actually cares about someone other than himself. “For me, if the movie had continued with the same cast, the same storylines, it would have been very difficult to come into the project,” says Marshall. “But I felt like it’s a new beginning in many ways.” In related news, Marshall has also signed on to direct Johnny Depp in ‘The Thin Man’ remake.
Depp says he hasn’t even seen the second and third ‘Pirate’ movies, but to be fair, he tends not to watch himself on screen. Maybe he’ll make an exception with ‘On Stranger Tides.’
What about you? Are you looking forward to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’? Does all this make you want to go see it?