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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Directed by
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
Based on
Cinematography Paul Cameron[1]
Edited by
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • July 7, 2017 (2017-07-07) (North America)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $320 million[2]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is an upcoming American fantasy swashbuckler film, and the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. The film is being directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg from a script by Jeff Nathanson, with Jerry Bruckheimer again serving as producer.

Pre-production for the film started in 2011, with writer Terry Rossio doing a script for the film. In early 2013, Jeff Nathanson was hired to write a new script, with Depp being involved in Nathanson's writing process. Initially planned for a 2015 release, the film was delayed to 2016 and then to 2017, due to script and budget issues. Principal photography started in Australia in February 2015, after the Australian government offered Disney $20 million of tax incentives. It is set to be released in 3D on July 7, 2017.[3]


Captain Jack Sparrow is pursued by an old enemy, Captain Salazar (Bardem), who along with his crew of ghost pirates has escaped from the Devil's Triangle and is determined to kill every pirate at sea. Jack seeks the mythical Trident of Poseidon, which will bestow upon its possessor total control over the seas, to use against Salazar.[1]




Top to bottom: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Kevin McNally who reprise their roles from the previous films as Jack Sparrow, Hector Barbossa, and Joshamee Gibbs respectively.

Shortly before the release of On Stranger Tides in 2011, it was confirmed that writer Terry Rossio was writing on a script for a fifth film.[11] Furthermore, the cast and crew of the fourth film were told not to occupy their time in the near future, as Walt Disney Pictures intended to shoot a fifth and sixth film back-to-back.[12] However, it was later stated that only a fifth film was in the works. On January 11, 2013, Jeff Nathanson signed on to write the script for the film.[13] On May 29, 2013, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg were selected to direct.[14] This decision was based both on their Acadamy Award nominated high sea film Kon-Tiki, as well as their ability to work with a limited budget.[15] On August 22, 2013, Rønning and Sandberg revealed that the title of the fifth film would be Dead Men Tell No Tales.[16] They also confirmed that they were working on the film, speaking highly of Jeff Nathanson's "funny and touching" script and that they are inspired by the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl.[17]

However, after Disney's The Lone Ranger lost the studio $190 million in 2013—a film also starring Johnny Depp in a similarly eccentric role—Disney questioned the bankability of Depp and thus the franchise, so the film was reconsidered and not actually green-lit as of early 2014.[18] Disney questioned whether to invest a huge budget in what could potentially be a fading franchise, with bankable franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars in their portfolio.[19] Another problem, along with the lack of success Depp experienced outside of the Pirates franchise were script problems, as Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn stated: "We haven't seen a screenplay yet that I've been able to sign off on. There's a lot of variables that affect the final outcome once it leaves the studio lot, so we are very careful."[19] Due to these problems, the film's production was delayed and it moved from a 2015 release aspired by Disney in 2013[13] to a likely release in 2016.[20] Producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed that script as well as budget issues were behind the delay, and that Jeff Nathanson was at work on a second attempt based on a well-received outline, stating: "It’s all a factor. We want a script that everyone’s signed off on and a budget that everyone’s signed off on."[15] After the script was accepted and the film was finally officially green-lit by Disney in July 2014, the release date moved to July 7, 2017.[21]

Many of the crew members for the film were new to the franchise, replacing members that had served on the previous four films. Apart from Directors Rønning and Sandberg and writer Nathanson, a new Director of Cinematography, Paul Cameron replacing Dariusz Wolski, production designer Nigel Phelps, visual effects supervisor Gary Brozenich, special effects supervisor Dan Oliver, supervising stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell, stunt coordinators Thomas Robinson Harper and Kyle Gardiner, makeup and hair designer Peter Swords King, new executive producers Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor replacing Mike Stenson, and film editors Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach. Costume Designer Penny Rose returned after providing the costumes for all four previous films, along with Executive Producer Chad Oman.[1]

Speaking to IGN while promoting The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Orlando Bloom indicated that the film might serve as a soft reboot for the franchise, saying: "Basically they want to reboot the whole franchise, I think, and do something with me and the relationship with my son."[22]


It was confirmed that writer Terry Rossio was writing a script for a fifth film shortly before the release of On Stranger Tides in 2011.[11] However, his script did not seem to find sympathy at Disney, as in January 2013, Jeff Nathanson signed on to write the script for the film.[13] Still, his script too was not well received and partly due to these issues, the film's production was delayed and the aspired release date in 2015 postponed. As Disney and Bruckheimer could not agree on his initial outline, which according to a Disney source, "was too expensive but it was also really complicated and hard to follow",[15] he was ordered to rewrite the script based on a well-received outline in early 2014, as according to Bruckheimer "we want a script that everyone’s signed off on."[15]

On April 13, 2014, Depp said in an interview that Bruckheimer and Disney had invited him in to collaborate with the writer Jeff Nathanson. He also said that he wants to bring a Pirates film that's very fresh and different, implying that it might be the last one in the series. Depp was quoted saying:[23]

"Everyone involved wants the script to be right and perfect. So we have gone on to do other things [in the meantime]. We are still going to do the film together. I enjoy them immensely. They are super talented. They have a great sense of humor. I think they have a really fun approach to what we are going to do with the next 'Pirates.' Very happily and proudly, I have welcomed taking part in the story and working directly with the screenwriter [Jeff Nathanson]—he and I. It's working out really well that way. So I have high hopes for that 'Pirates 5' because if that's really the last one, which it probably is, I feel that we owe it to the audience who went and saw the films so many times. We’ll do it right and end it on a high note."
—Johnny Depp.


Speaking at the On Stranger Tides press launch in Cannes, Depp said he would play the role for as long as it is popular with the public.[24] In August 2012 news surfaced that Johnny Depp signed on officially for the fifth film, reportedly earning $90 million to reprise his role.[4] As with the fourth film, Depp was also involved in scripting and planning Dead Men Tell No Tales.[23] Geoffrey Rush had commented on returning as Hector Barbossa in the fifth installment, saying "If they keep shapeshifting this character, absolutely" as well as implying he may return as the villain.[25] He also said that Barbossa's megalomania "could explode in horrific ways."[26] In December 2014, Rush confirmed his return for the fifth installment, where Barbossa and Jack were "at the heart of it and there's a whole new set of story lines."[5]

Australian actor Brenton Thwaites entered talks for the role of Henry in late November 2014,[27] after Disney choose him over Taron Egerton, George MacKay, Mitchell Hope, Ansel Elgort and Sam Keeley.[28] In mid-January 2015, he stated that he was to travel to Australia for the film in February, disclosing that his role was indeed that of Davy Jones' son, struggling to break a curse to meet his father.[29] On January 24, Jerry Bruckheimer announced via Twitter that Kaya Scodelario had been cast as the female lead.[6] In October 2014, IGN reported that Javier Bardem, husband of Penelope Cruz, who portrayed Angelica in the fourth installment, was in early talks to appear as the antagonist of the film.[30] His role was eventually confirmed to be that of Captain Salazar.[1] Kevin McNally confirmed his return as Joshamee Gibbs via Twitter in late January.[31] Shortly after on location pre-production opened in Australia, Disney issued a casting call to local agents for actors from all age- and experience levels to apply for roles and as extras in the upcoming film, with casting also open in the US.[32] Adam Brown, Delroy Atkinson, Danny Kirrane were revealed as cast members shortly before filming.[8] Martin Klebba confirmed his return as Marty via Twitter days before filming began.[7]

Both Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook commented on the possibility of returning as Pintel and Ragetti. Arenberg confirmed in several interviews that, despite wanting to return to the fourth film,[33] he hoped to reprise his role as Pintel.[34] In an interview on November 7, 2014, Crook confirmed that he had received a call of availability from Disney for the film, although stated that the uncertainty of whether he wanted to reprise his role.[35] However, shortly before filming started, Arenberg announced on Twitter that he would not do so, despite having been interested.[36]

In late 2011, about four years after choosing not to return for the fourth installment, Orlando Bloom stated that we would like to return for the fifth film if he was offered.[37] Several weeks after Disney officially green-lit the film, Bloom stated that there were "discussions" about his return to the franchise in September 2014.[38] Bloom further commented on December 2014, saying that while he is not sure whether he will return, there are talks. He also indicated that Disney may do a soft reboot with the franchise and focus on Will Turner and his son.[22]


On January 15, 2014, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg confirmed that shooting would take place in Puerto Rico and New Orleans[39] and Bruckheimer had previously mentioned that there might be a sequence in Louisiana.[40] However, a spokesman for the Australian Arts Minister confirmed that the fifth installment was set to shoot exclusively in Australia after the government agreed to repurpose $20 million of tax incentives originally intended for the remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, thus edging out Mexico and South Africa as filming locations.[41] According to Australian film industry sources, on location pre-production started in late September 2014.[42] This was officially confirmed by Disney and the Queensland Arts Minister on October 2, 2014, stating that filming will take place exclusively in Queensland, Australia, being the largest production to ever shoot in the country. Village Roadshow Studios and Port Douglas were officially confirmed as filming locations.[43] Ship scenes were filmed in front of a giant outdoor greenscreen in Helensvale,[44] while a film set in the form of a village was built in Maudsland.[45] Filming moved to Doug Jennings Park on The Spit from March 30 to June 15, 2015 for water bound scenes.[46] However due to extreme sea sickness among the cast and crew due to "big swells" at The Spit, filming moved to Raby Bay for calmer waters.[47] Locals make up more than 75 percent of the 850-plus crew currently working on the film, with more expected to land jobs on the production between now and July, and locals will also account for most of the film’s 6100 extras man days.[48] Filming commenced on February 17, 2015[1] and is expected to wrap up on July 7, 2015.[49]

On January 1, 2015, The Rainbow Gypsy, a 15-year-old replica of an 1897 Scottish bawley sailed into the Gold Coast to start the extensive refit, which will include a new bowsprit and reconfigured decks and cabins in order to become the Black Pearl. Its captain and owner Kit Woodward will be a rigger on the film.[50]

A number of issues and controversies plagued the film during its production. The strict biosecurity laws in Australia posed big problems regarding the capuchin monkeys that portray Hector Barbossa's pet monkey Jack, as the animals are regarded as a category 1 pest and require strict requirements and a 30-day quarantine.[51] Further controversy surrounding the use of the monkeys erupted from animal rights activist groups, who urged the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to reject the application to fly two capuchin monkeys from California to Australia, arguing that the trip would "harm the monkeys’ health, that movie performances are unnatural for wild creatures and that the appearance of monkeys in films encourages the illegal wildlife trade."[52] Crew and cast members were forced to cover all mobile phones with tape to prevent the film from being pirated before its release. Secret filming locations used the production name of 'Herschel' to hide the fact it was the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film.[53]

On March 10, 2015, Depp was injured while on set and had to be flown back to the United States for surgery.[54] However, by late March it was revealed that problems were much more severe than a broken wrist, reportedly Depp injured his hand drunk off-set and now spent his time back in the US in an "at home rehab program" for alcohol problems after family members and Disney executives pushed him into seeking help for his problems.[55] Due to his absence, filming stalled completely and 200 crew members were forced to stand down for two weeks as they had done all they had been able to without Depp.[49] Filming was set to resume "on or about April 20"[56] and Depp returned to set on April 21.[57] Due to the delay, the film is reportedly $70 million over budget.[58][59]


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  58. ^
  59. ^

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