Gore Verbinski Takes Us on Another Voyage with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Gore Verbinski discusses putting in all the elements in place for the final film in the trilogy and the possibility of more Pirates movies

When you begin a trilogy of movies with two well crafted films it seems the only place you can go is down when you make the third one.

That is unless your Gore Verbinski.

With Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the Director put together a world that few would ever have conceived possible. In telling the crisscrossing stories of pirates, fair maidens, dead men brought back to life and everything else we have come to expect from these high sea tales, Verbinksi seems to have stretched the genre even further into the realm of myth with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

As the age of piracy comes to a close, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle. Our heroes must face Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and Admiral James Norrington (Jack Davenport) in a titanic showdown that could eliminate the freedom-loving pirates from the seven seas -- forever.

What was your biggest goal in making Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End?

Gore Verbinski: My biggest goal? The release date. We had about 20% of it shot... and we had 10 months to shoot the rest of it, post it, all the visual effects, score it and mix it. Getting the story right... there were a lot of late nights, with coffee.

Do you think its tougher for directors now to make a trilogy of films? For example, when George Lucas made the Star Wars? movies in the '70s, he didn't have people on the internet plotting his every move?

Gore Verbinski: I don't really pay attention to it. I'm so into the process of making the picture. Expectations? There's the studio's expectations, the audiences expectations are always out there when you make movies. I think the best way to fulfill those expectations is to try and give them the unexpected. What did we do in the first film? Nobody expected anything.

With the amount of integral characters that Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End had, was it ever a problem trying to service them all?

Gore Verbinski: Oh yeah. that quickly became apparent once we knew we were making two movies. Before we had a script for the second and third movies there were things we needed to figure out. Things we conceived along the way expanded exponentially. You start with a little girl in a boat in the first movie, pretty soon you're going from two, to four, to eight... the second movie we had Davey Jones. The third movie became kind of like... we could use all those things.

When working with the caliber of actors that you have in this film how do you work with them? Do you see what they bring to the table? Do you tell them what you want specifically?

Gore Verbinski: I do concept work. I do illustrations of the characters. When they first conceived Davey Jones he was a ghost. With Davey Jones I wanted him to be of the sea, his crew to be barnacles; fragments of dead fish hanging off of them. We did renderings... this all before we knew it was Bill Nighy. There are drawings of Davey Jones, that photographs out of magazines because at that time it was just about seeing what he looked like. For Keith Richards (Captain Teague), I sent him drawings. Barbossa, the drawings of him, I did skeletal, more normal. I think in all those cases the work was interesting enough to get people juiced. Johnny came in and his process was a little bit more trying things out in the wardrobe trailer. Jack was sort of born out of that. Then we sort of adapted how he would look as a skeleton.

Would you consider doing a Fourth Pirates film> Do you feel there are still more tales to tell with these characters?

Gore Verbinski: I think the Will and Elizabeth story and the Port Royal, the Governor's Daughter, and Davey Jones... I think that story's done. I think the entire trilogy is done. It feels complete and finished. Whether somewhere down the road, years from now, we come across a story worth telling that would be "The Continued Adventures of Jack Sparrow," you know, maybe? It really depends on if there's a tale worth telling. I certainly am ready for a vacation. I'd like to direct something else before I came back to this genre.

Considering the size and scope of all three productions is there something you weren't as confident about when you began Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, that you are much more confident about with the completion of the trilogy?

Gore Verbinski: Yeah, I think that with the tools we have today you can do anything. It comes down to the tale you're telling, the story. Its liberating to pull something like this off in 10 months. We couldn't have done it without working with the best crew. In every department visual effects, props, wardrobe, hair and makeup. I guess what I learned is that I don't have any patience for people who aren't the best at what they do because once you work with the best in the business you go, "Whoa, that's what a dolly grip is supposed to do." You can't go back. These films have afforded me the opportunity to work with really talented people.

We are kind of into improvisational myth-making. Things are changing constantly. We go, "We're gonna build Singapore, we need it in 2 weeks." They don't blink. Sometimes its 300, sometimes its 700 people and they turn on a dime. I think my respect for the crew... that's been the same on these three movies like, "Wow, you really live and die by your crew."

I know you mentioned you're ready for a vacation but do you have any projects you're interested in? Anything you're sort of circling around?

Gore Verbinski: You know, I purposely, this has been such a long road, from The Ring, Pirates, The Weather Man, all those movies overlapped. I didn't even go to the premiere because I was shooting. I was prepping Pirates, while I was shooting The Weather Man. So I really intentionally designed it so... I'm gonna read some books. I'm gonna try to sustain as long as I can, in this town its tricky because as soon as you take a meeting suddenly you're attached to something. Then somehow you're, "How did I get to New Zealand scouting a location? I don't even think I said 'Yes.'"

So, I'm really trying to get to a place where I don't owe anybody a movie, you know? And live in that world for awhile.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End sets sail in theaters May 25 from Walt Disney Pictures.