“I’d already met Johnny, and I was like, ‘OK, I’ve got that out of the way. Now we can get into the work.’ But the second he stepped on set dressed as Jack Sparrow, I just lost it. I became a little kid again. I would just watch him during the take, and I’d forget to say my line, or I’d laugh reacting to him.There’s something incredibly magical about him.”
'Pirates of the Caribbean' Directors Talk Paul McCartney Cameo
By Daniel Kreps Rolling Stone
The directors of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales have opened about the film's top-secret Paul McCartney cameo.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg revealed that the scene with McCartney, in full swashbuckling regalia, was originally intended for the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, who portrays Johnny Depp's father in the Disney franchise.
"We had even written a scene for Keith,” Rønning said. "And then because of some scheduling issues, he couldn't come to Australia to shoot, so we sat down with Johnny and kind of brainstormed, like, 'Okay, who could fill his shoes?' Because we felt like we should have something. We should honor the tradition of showing a Jack Sparrow family member. And we made a very short list, and of course, at the very top of that list was Sir Paul McCartney."
The actor then picked up his cellphone and texted McCartney – "I don't know what kind of club these people are a member of, but he had the phone number," Rønning said – and, after exchanging some pirate lingo via text, the cameo was all lined up.
As audiences seeing Dead Men Tell No Tales in theaters this weekend will attest, McCartney plays "Uncle Jack" to Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, which means in the Pirates universe, Richards and McCartney are brothers. Depp and McCartney's scene together takes place in a Caribbean jail cell where both Sparrows await execution.
In the scene, McCartney also sings a sea shanty. "The scene starts with him singing a song, and at the very end of the day, we needed to do a wild take to just record him singing," Rønning said. "Nobody else is working on the set so on the soundstage, it's completely quiet, and we're only rolling sound. So I'm sitting there behind the monitors, listening in with earphones and basically recording Paul McCartney. That was a big, big moment."
Despite less-than-stellar reviews, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is expected to gross $80 million at the box office over Memorial Day weekend.
Keira Knightley Almost Wasn’t In ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean 5’
By Bill Bradley Huff Post
It seems it almost wasn’t a “Pirates” life for Keira Knightley.
Brenton Thwaites, who plays Henry Turner in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” recently chatted with HuffPost about what it’s like to play the son of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann. He also shed some light on Knightley’s big return.
The actor told us, “It’s kind of an honor to play a Turner. I’ve watched all their stuff together since the first movie, and they’ve always had such a great banter and wonderful chemistry with each other.”
Fans were especially excited about the chance to see that chemistry again when it got out that Knightley would appear in the film. Images of the actress, which first showed up in the international trailer, instantly went viral. Since then, the cast has been pretty forthcoming about Knightley’s appearance, with Bloom openly talking about sharing the screen again with his “Pirates” co-star on the red carpet.
Still, her return apparently wasn’t always a lock. As Thwaites remembers it, the Knightley scene wasn’t in the original script.
“I believe it was added after. I’m not sure, but I believe it was added after,” Thwaites told HuffPost, saying the part with Elizabeth Swann was shot “14 or 15 months after principal photography.”
“It was a long gap between finishing production and doing the reshoots was that little segment,” said Thwaites. “I had already shot my biggest scenes with Orlando, so we already had our moment, and our story had come to an end, and we kind of [closed] that chapter and had our climactic moment.”
(HuffPost reached out to screenwriter Terry Rossio about the moment and will update this story accordingly.)
Knightley previously said she wasn’t going to appear in another “Pirates” movie, which could explain why Elizabeth Swann supposedly wasn’t included in the initial script. But what changed her mind?
Perhaps she just missed life on the high seas. Or, as we speculated before, the actress probably stole a piece of cursed Aztec gold and got pulled into the role while trying to return it to the “Pirates” set. Who knows?
However it happened, we’re glad she’s back. Swann’s inclusion is without a doubt one of the best parts of the movie, and it may play a role in where the franchise goes from here.
Thwaites told us he’d like to see his character have “a bit more material with Elizabeth Swann” in future “Pirates” films.
“I didn’t really have that much with Elizabeth Swann, Keira’s character, but I would like to see a bit more of that because it feels like the start of something new,” he said, “and there’s kind of a lot of possibility at the end of the movie. It feels like it will go somewhere.”
If we had a magical compass that pointed to what we wanted most, it’d be more Elizabeth Swann, too.
When zombie sharks attack: Inside Pirates of the Caribbean 5's killer action sequence
In ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales,’ Johnny Depp is stalked by some undead predators that just keep swimming
by Devan Coggan EW
Whether they’re terrorizing Amity Island, whirling through the air in a tornado, or celebrating their own week on the Discovery Channel, sharks are a scary staple of pop culture. But the latest Pirates of the Caribbean introduces a creepy newcomer to the genre: the zombie shark.
Dead Men Tell No Tales finds Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) on the run with Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), pursued by a vicious Spanish ghoul named Salazar (Javier Bardem). The cursed villain keeps a secret weapon in his ship’s cargo hold: three rotting shark carcasses, also called ghost sharks, that come alive as soon as they touch seawater.
“It’s like, ‘Launch the torpedoes!” says co-director Joachim Rønning with a laugh. Yeah, torpedoes with teeth.
Rønning and co-director Espen Sandberg are no strangers to filming a shark frenzy — they made the 2012 seafaring drama Kon-Tiki — but Pirates proved to be a much bigger fish. The entire scene was assembled from footage shot at three different locations: on location at the Whitsunday Islands in Australia, in a massive indoor water tank, and on a blue-screen soundstage. Plus, Pirates’ putrid predators required the filmmakers to swim through months of research and visual-effects tests (see concept art below).
“They’re not normal sharks,” says visual-effects supervisor Gary Brozenich. “They’re missing a fin or they have a lame fin that just drags along with them, so that would obviously influence the way they move.”
The final result is a supernatural skeletal look that still adheres to the laws of biology. “We worked really, really hard to find the most disgusting way to scare people,” Sandberg says. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Guillotine Stunt Was Practical
by David Stephens Screenrant
The directors of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales have revealed that one of the most outlandish stunts featured in the film was performed for real. These days it’s easy to assume that most dangerous and spectacular scenes rely heavily on CG effects, but that’s not always the case.
The opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales confirmed that there is still bankability and interest in the franchise, with a massive global debut at the box-office. Part of the financial success of the films is undoubtedly due to the extravagant action set pieces, some of which have more in common with Buster Keaton-type antics rather than something more generic. Think of Will and Jack’s first sword-fight in The Curse of the Black Pearl, or the three-person duel on the water-wheel in Dead Man’s Chest. And whatever your opinion of the current film, it’s true to say that Dead Men Tell No Tales continues that tradition.
The directors of the latest installment, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, have confirmed that one of epic sequences in the movie was created and filmed practically, and a conscious decision to pull back from much of the CG trickery that has been used in the past. It occurs during one of several moments where Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) manages to evade certain death yet again, and is trapped inside a guillotine. But during a botched rescue, the contraption comes loose and ends up spinning about wildly, nearly decapitating Jack on numerous occasions.
“There’s a scene where Jack Sparrow is strapped to a guillotine [and does that spin]. It’s one of the luxuries to have making a movie on this scale, the resources that you can come up with something and then like six months later they spend millions of dollars and built the thing!”
They also point to the obvious connections with silent-movie slapstick and the desire to keep effects practical: “The franchise has a lot of [practical action sequences], and also talking to Johnny Depp about his inspirations for the character and going back to the Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin of it all. We really worked hard to take the action sequences and those kind of funny set pieces to the next level.”
Given the solid opening of the film around the world, it seems like the right choices were made by the Norwegian directors, and the move back to practical (but ridiculous) stunts was a positive decision. The future of the franchise was hinted at in the post-credit sequence of Dead Men Tell No Tales. However any further sequels will depend on the involvement of Johnny Depp, according to producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Directors Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg ~ the Creative Minds behind PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
by Heather Pfingsten PinkNinjaBlog.com May 31, 2017
I attended the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES #PiratesLifeEvent courtesy of Walt Disney Studios. All opinions are strictly my own.
The interviews for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES were absolutely fantastic. I learned a lot more about the cast, the franchise, what it was like to work in this family like atmosphere, and how much fun they had while creating such a great film.
One of the interviews that I was really excited about, but truthfully didn’t realize until right after we watched the movie at the Red Carpet Premiere, was with the directors, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. As soon as the last credit rolled, I had to know more about the storyline, why these two men were so interested in the project, and what it was like to become a part of Pirate history. My applause for these two gentlemen as they entered the room couldn’t have been more genuine. They directed a great movie and I wanted to offer up thanks through my applause … the gesture was not lost on them.
They sat down, offered a quick hello, and it was time to set sail.
Can you talk a little bit about how this film fell into your lap for number five?
Espen Sandberg: It didn’t fall into our laps. [LAUGHTER] We chased it. We really wanted to make this movie. I think the basic reason was, Joachim and I started making movies together when we were ten years old. Movies that inspired us back then, the Spielberg and Lucas and Zemeckis films. This franchise just reminds us of that. It has that unique blend of spectacle and humor and scary parts and also a lot of heart. So that meant a lot to us.
The special effects were amazing. One of the things that surprised me the most I think or I was taken aback by the most were the sharks. What made you decide to go with dead sharks and how did that come about?
Joachim Rønning: It was in the script that was brilliantly written by Jeff Nathanson. It became our job to translate that and to add elements in the action sequence. The idea was on paper but, all the scenes where he jumps over the boat and all, that all comes together as we develop the idea. The ghost sharks are part of the look of the ghosts basically.
That was important to work. The design of the ghosts became a long process that we did together with Javier Bardem as well. The production designers and the VFX supervisors would go in and try to give a ghostly appearance without losing the actors basically. Javier is so wonderful and you don’t want to mess it too much up. So, that’s where it started. The ghost sharks came from that trying to be a part of that family, so to speak.
Because you work with a team and you work as a team so often, do you have individual roles interacting or is everything a team effort?
Joachim Rønning: We don’t really know any other way of doing this then being together. For us, it’s a very natural process. And I think it’s a collaborative one. We include the actors and the crew and everyone as part of the discussion basically. We try to create a safe work environment where every idea is welcome and everybody can be a part of the discussion. That’s important to us. I think that’s like probably one of the strong advantages that we have as a directing team.
What was it like working with Johnny Depp? What was the chemistry like onset?
Espen Sandberg: Oh, it’s amazing. He’s so funny. What you see with Jack Sparrow, it’s all Johnny. And he’s a genius. I mean for us he’s like up there with Chaplin and the other ones because his timing is just perfect and he has such a weird imagination. So he comes up with the craziest ideas. For us, the highlight was always going into his trailer in the morning and going through the scenes and the lines and trying to come up with even more cool stuff to do to make it even more funny. Then of course, when we started shooting he would do something completely different. And everyone was sort of thrown off but that also makes it come alive and funny, so.
You said that you pursued this title. Is there a specific reason you wanted to do the next installment in the series or was it just this type of origin story that you were attracted to?
Joachim Rønning: The whole movie or the origins story in the movie?
Joachim Rønning: The origin story in the movie came from us actually. That was something we wanted to explore. That was something that when we were going the rounds and trying to get the gig, that as fans of the franchise ourselves we were curious about Jack Sparrow. We were thinking well, that could be cool and they got that. Disney liked it. Johnny liked it too. He was a little bit more reserved because he’s very protective of this character of course. And the character, he’s a tricky movie character, Jack Sparrow because he doesn’t really have you know what they call the character arc. He learns nothing during his journey. He’s not richer for the experience.
He was very curious to where we would go with it. We just created the fifth installment, creating how he got his name and all of that. It’s a little bit risky, a little bit, but then when we presented it and then we started shooting he really embraced it and that was cool. So that was a big part of what we brought to get the job in the first place.
Joachim Rønning: Why we wanted to do the movie, like Espen was saying, when we grew up we were very influenced by Hollywood adventure family movies. Movies that inspired us to become filmmakers in the first place and Pirates reminds us of that. It’s very that fun movie that gives you energy and you know we both have kids. To be able to do, that was also a big part of why we wanted to do this. It’s something they can relate to and be a part of.
Now we’ve been doing the premieres and all going over the world and traveling with them. That wouldn’t work if it was like a horror movie or something like that. A big part of it was to make something that we saw ourselves in when we were kids and to make something for our kids.
What’s in store for the franchise? Will there be another movie based on clip that we saw at the end of the film?
Espen Sandberg: I hope so.
Joachim Rønning: We wish we had the position. We are fans of the franchise so we certainly hope that it continues.
You mentioned your family. Besides entertaining, what are you hoping people walk away with from the film?
Joachim Rønning: It’s something that was very important for us that we touch upon a little bit was the emotional core of the story and the kind of family theme that the film has. And that a treasure is not always you know a chest of gold. It could be other things.
Espen Sandberg: Even for a pirate.
Joachim Rønning: Even for a pirate. I think that was something we really fought hard to do because I was really inspired by the first movie. The series has a big heart. Then of course, you have the adventure and the scares and the comedy. But yeah, I hope that the audience will be moved by it as well.
You mentioned that you started working together basically when you were 10 years old. Are your children in the same boat? Do your kids try to make movies together?
Joachim Rønning: Yeah, I would say so.
Espen Sandberg: They’re best friends actually; super close. They’re doing a lot of creative stuff so we’ll see.
Joachim Rønning: We have five kids between us. I have two, Espen has three.
Espen Sandberg: Every other year.
Joachim Rønning: They’re nine, 10, 11, 12, and 13. It’s a good bunch to travel with.
Pirates is such an iconic part of Disney and history. What’s it like being part of that? Is this what you’ve wanted to have that kind of feather in your cap?
Joachim Rønning: For sure. It’s a dream come true. We grew up with these movies.
Espen Sandberg: It’s so much bigger than us. It’s amazing to go to China and there’s thousands of screaming fans. It’s such a global phenomenon and it’s because they love the universe. They love the characters. For us to be a part of that and keep that story going is really cool.
It was amazing sitting down with Joachim and Espen. I’ve met directors that have talked about their love of a movie or how much they wanted to be a part of a project but this was the first time they actually painted the picture for me. They are both super fans of the franchise and I love that. It tells me that took the utmost care with what came before them, they did their homework, and they love the characters as much as I do. They made it a fantastic day!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge VFX supervisors talk 'de-ageing' Johnny Depp, evolution of special effects, and savvier audiences Gary Brozenich and Sheldon Stopsack discuss the fifth Pirates film with The Independent
Jack Shepherd The Independent June 8, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge has been showing in cinemas for two weeks now, audiences having lapped up Johnny Depp's latest outing.
Many have been left in awe by the ground-breaking effects, particularly those on Javier Bardem's Salazar and the zombie-pirate crew.
VFX Supervisors Gary Brozenich and Sheldon Stopsack, both who worked on the film, sat down with The Independent to discuss working on the film.
Notable talking points include de-ageing Depp, the evolution of special effects, and how audiences are becoming savvier towards effects. Read the full interview below.
When did you get involved with Salazar’s Revenge?
Gary: I got involved over three years ago, at the film's very conception. I met Joachim [Rønning] and Espen [Sandberg, directors] and thought they would be very interesting filmmakers to get involved with.
Sheldon: I got involved later, two years ago, when Gary had covered most of the principle photography. They had been working together for a long time.
That seems like an incredibly long time to be working on a film. Is that how long these projects normally take?
G: I think you find, more and more on these bigger projects, they take this amount of time. We work to a release date, and we were shooting early. With the ability of what we all have to contribute to the filmmaking process now, people expand to fill that time.
How closely do you work with the directors? Are they alongside you all the time or do they allow you to play around?
G: I was with them every day through pre-production and production. In post-production, I was based in Los Angeles, then Montreal, then the last few in London to help finish things off. During that period we had calls with Joachim and Espen, if not some sort of contact with them, on a daily basis for the last three years.
How much was physical effects and how much was digital?
G: It was a pretty healthy balance. There were a lot of massive ship builds. They were very decorative, something that you don’t often get. The practical side was very important. The costumes and make-up of Salazar and his crew was heavily significantly practical. We were either replacing or augmenting. There’s some stuff that hopefully people will never know we did.
What was the hardest part to edit?
S: It’s difficult to identify one part as the hardest. There were a few big challenges we faced. Obviously, the ghost crew, their appearance, and Salazar was difficult. That underwater-ness — the floating hair, all those parts — that was one big patch that was very challenging. The other was the large amounts of water we had to recreate, the open oceans and more superficial water events such as Poseidon’s tomb.
G: I also think that, on Salazar’s crew, one of the huge challenges we worked with Joachim and Espen on was on Salazar and his overall appearance. He has a look of being underwater the entire film. He’s floating, his costume’s floating, he has holes in the back of his head. His entire crew has the same appearance. We didn't want to detract from his performance in any way. He has such a large on-screen presence, so we had to step back when we needed to, to make sure his performance was always the most dominant thing, and then enhancing it whenever possible.
S: It was more of a supportive effect really. Supporting the performance.
How much were you able to put into the creative process?
G: I had a lot of input with Nigel Phelps, the production designer. Typically, what the production designer maps out is the overall view of the film. Thankfully, in this case, that included the ghosts, the ship, the crew, the islands, and the underwater environments. Everything we had to make was with a unified vision that came through Nigel and the directors. We worked together to make sure the original intention made it to screen. There’s always a massive gap between what you put into a concept image and what can actually be a shot. We bridge that gap to make sure the original intention is there, bringing in all the moving components, those things you would have never thought of until you had a moving camera. That’s where we step in and build on the creative process. Our footprint and impact was significant on this, but it’s always to enhance rather than change.
S: Every VFX project comes down to the individual outlet. There are so many pieces missing from the concept. When you get to the shot level you realise how many questions remain unanswered and need figuring out. The individual artist then has something to contribute to an answer, to present and put into context. It’s a long, ongoing development project that’s worked on until the last second.
It must be quite daunting and seeing how much is effects led. Did you stand back and think ‘this is a lot of work to get done?’
S: What I tend to do is approach these projects in a naive way, otherwise you’ll be too intimidated by it. There’s a risk of being overwhelmed right from the start and it’s always good to just go bit by bit and let it grow. By doing so, by the end of the production you get to a point and look back and realise the sheer amount of stuff that was created and developed. Then in becomes more intimidating, the aftermath.
G: There’s a maturity to the process that we all have to go through. There are a certain amount of steps and tasks you have to go through, answers that need to be solved along that road. We try to roadmap things along the way. It gets scary when you fall of course. But this process is becoming more and more refined with every film, and we get better and better at it. But the demands get bigger and bigger every project. It’s just becoming smarter about doing it. But I agree, when you look back at the film, you go ‘oh my God I can’t believe that!’
You worked on Stranger Tides as well. How did you want to improve on things from last time?
G: With this film, we knew from the start it was going to be very different. The Pirates franchise has a quality expectation that’s always there, that’s been set from the first film all the way through. In a way, that’s a blessing, because there will never be any compromise on quality. In terms of the way creatively we approached this, we were trying to get back to the spirit of the first films. We have so much more creative ability, so much more artistry that we can bring to special effects than they could then. It was trying to take that spirit and do what we can do to it. That’s, hopefully, what everyone will get seeing it.
Do you ever think, maybe we’re going overboard with the effects?
G: Um… No, not really. Audiences are smart now, in a way that we were not. People have a higher threshold for what they can visually take on compared to what they could five years ago. The younger generations of film viewers are so much more savvy about the technology. It’s much more integrated into the fabric of filmmaking.
S: The use of visual effects comes down to how they contribute to the narrative of the movie. You can completely overdo it, but at the same time, if it helps the story, you can completely strip it down and it will still work.
G: We used to do these films where there would be one small shot that would spike into this huge visual effects shot and completely change the fabric of the film. The audience would be so pulled out by that people would have negative reactions. The quality and quantity of the spectacle that we bring into that process is much more integrated into the story. Audiences are more accepting of crazy shots that they know are not real. As long as they’re well executed, they can take it on. It used to be impossible camera moves that would pull people out, because people knew they could not do that. What we do now, we still try to apply the rules of natural filmmaking, but we’re trying to push them. There’s a grey area that can make or break whether people hang onto that.
Were there any innovations on this film perhaps you hadn’t done before?
S: Plenty. You’re always trying to push boundaries, and each project presents another set of boundaries you’re trying to overcome, and you’re always trying to do better than the last. For this one, the ghost work, pirates, Salazar, all the water, was all a challenge. We developed a whole set of tools for those aspects. There are always things you’re trying to bring to the table.
G: There’s very little we did on this show that was run of the mill, that we took from the last one, just because that’s the evolutionary process of what we do. That’s not that we’re revolutionising on every single front, but we’re pushing forward.
It must be difficult to keep on top of new innovations all the time?
G: That’s the fun of the job. We’re sitting on top of 600 talented people that are also doing the same. It’s a privilege to sit here and talk to you, but we’re speaking for buildings full of people who worked on it.
For the young Jack Sparrow. That de-ageing process has cropped up numerous times recently in film. Is that technically similar to what they used in Rogue One for Peter Cushing? And is that going to become a more common occurrence?
G: Yes, it’s becoming a more acceptable occurrence. We didn’t use the same technology as Peter Cushing, but the same as on Iron Man in Civil War. The company was Lola, based in LA, and they are pushing the frontier on what you’re able to achieve with Youthification, trying to find ways to retain original actor presence and how to work that into the performance. The approach they take to every show isn’t so much the technology, but they’re a group of people who try to find different ways to create that effect. They were skinning that cat in various different ways on this shoot alone. While shooting, we took three approaches. Only in post-production did we decide how to apply the effects to those shots. The people we deal with at Lola are very good at that craft. Sheldon did young Arnold in the last Terminator which took a completely different approach. I actually supervised but Sheldon did all the work. We’re all still looking at how to approach it.
Sorry if this sounds naive, but was that Johnny Depp beneath the CGI? Or a body double? G: That was him. We also shot with a body double, but that was more for reference underneath all that. That was one of the reasons I went with those guys. Because Jack Sparrow is so well known worldwide, every nuance of his performance. We’ve all tried and failed at our version. He’s so ingrained in film culture that I didn’t want to take a CG replacement of him, so we took an approach where Johnny did his performance and we did manipulation on top of that. It’s Johnny’s eyes, his mouth, and his performance throughout.
Thanks, Theresa. I am fascinated with how they created Young Jack. It's one of my favourite sequences in the film. I deliberately didn't read too much about the film beforehand and this section of the story was a complete surprise to me, I loved it! I wasn't much of a fan of cgi, but these days I think it's reached some very interesting levels and being able to include this sequence really made for an interesting storyline. I wish we could have a whole film of Jack when he was young to be honest!
"Easy on the goods darlin!" "Tis not an easy thing to be entirely happy, but to be kind is very easy, and that is the greatest measure of happiness"-John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
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