Movies about pirates have traditionally rarely worked at the box-office, with the expensive box-office debacle of 1995's Cutthroat Island appearing to have put the final nail in the coffin for the genre as a whole. That was why when filmmaker Gore Verbinski first pitched the idea for Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl, few people in the industry believed in his vision. Verbinksi explained the reasons behind everyone's hesitancy regarding the project in a recent interview.
"I remember pitching [the film] to [composer Hans] Zimmer and he said, 'You're mad! You're making a pirate movie? Nobody's going to see a pirate movie.' It was resoundingly, 'that's the worst idea ever.' And there was something exciting about that. It was so doomed to fail. You're setting out to go make a genre that literally doesn't work, or there's so much historical proof that it will not work. So, you're making everybody nervous. The studio's nervous. Everybody's nervous about Johnny Depp's performance. Everybody's nervous about the story. It's convoluted - they're returning the treasure, wait they've taken the treasure back, they're cursed? Everything about that had a spirit of madness to it."
To this day, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie remains arguably the greatest Pirates movie, and one of thegreatest action-adventure movies, ever made. While the franchise continues with multiple sequels and planned spinoffs, Verbinski left the series after the third entry in the franchise. According to the filmmaker, his time spent on the series was an exhausting endeavor of trying to retain the brilliant madness of the original film, with somewhat diminishing returns.
"I think just pulling [the original trilogy] off, while trying to maintain that original madness, was enough. I'm definitely proud of the second one. I feel like that one has a little bit more... it's got a similar spirit. And it's shy of being bloated, and maybe the third one got a little bit, okay, wow. Now where do you go? You have to go even bigger. I think, trying to wrap up that many fractal narratives and give everybody a conclusion, Norrington's going to have to have his due, etc.. the thing just grows. That's what they do. They just go, 'Well, the audiences love this guy, got to pay that guy off, and these guys have to return, and those guys have to show.' Then you just start going, 'Oh my God, I can't sustain this, I need to blow it up. I need to go blow it all up. To really end it. ' So, I tried to make the third one saying, 'There shouldn't be any more.'... I was like, okay, no more, done, three and out."
With Gore Verbinski gone, and the studio looking to replace Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow as the de facto lead of the franchise, it remains to be seen how the Pirates of the Caribbean series will fare in the coming days. For now, we can always rewatch the original trilogy of the franchise, which has managed to stand the test of time surprisingly well. This news originated at Collider.