With the release of the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, it looks like we've seen a slight return to form for the series. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that anything will be able to top the incredible heights that the first film in the series reached. Johnny Depp can continue to play the swashbuckling pirate in more and more ridiculous ways, but his original portrayal was the one considered legendary by most. As a tribute to that first film, here are 10 things that you (probably) didn't know about Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
1. Johnny Depp Really Made Sparrow His Own
Jack Sparrow wouldn't really be Jack Sparrow without Johnny Depp. When he got the role, he truly made it his own. He improvised Sparrow's catchphrase "savvy," chose the number of gold teeth Sparrow would have, changing it a number of times until it was perfect. He put an entirely unique spin on the character, stretching away from what #Disney originally wanted, and it was all inspired by his friend Keith Richards, who appeared in the third film in the series later.
2. Will Turner Is The Best Swordsman In The Film
Some of the writers admitted that as a character, Will Turner was the best swordsman out there. They also said that Barbossa and Norrington were tied for second, while Jack Sparrow was the worst of the lot. Luckily, he's a pirate, so he can cheat to win.
3. It Was Expected To Be A Major Flop
Any other pirate-themed films released up to that point in 2003 were flops, and it turned several actors away from wanting to star in the first film. Critics and pundits awaited a huge failure from the release, and it's safe to say they were majorly shocked when it made over $600 million worldwide, was ranked third highest grossing film of 2003, and was nominated for five Oscars.
4. Depp Was Nominated For An Oscar
One of those Oscars was actually for best actor. While the other nominations came in categories where action films are expected to do better — like visual effects, sound editing and makeup — the film also got a best actor nomination for Johnny Depp as Sparrow. Hard to believe when you see the ridiculous stunts he does in the films nowadays, but his original performance was a legendary one. Unfortunately, he lost out to Adrien Brody for his role in The Pianist.
5. Depp Wanted To Play Sparrow Without A Nose
One of Depp's stranger ideas for Jack Sparrow — and one of the few that Disney refused — was to play the pirate without a nose! Safe to say, that would have made all of the Halloween costumes a lot harder to pull off accurately.
6. Keira Knightley Thought She Would Get Fired
No, seriously. When cast in the first film, Keira Knightley was only 17, and later said that she had only packed a small bag when she traveled to Hollywood because she was convinced she would be quickly fired from the role. She said that because of all the criticism she had received for being too thin and being unable to act, she didn't think she would be able to cut it in Hollywood. Of course, that turned out to be absolute crap.
7. Robert De Niro Turned Down Jack Sparrow
One of the major stars who considered a film about pirates to likely flop, and so denied a role, was Robert De Niro. He came in to look at the part of Sparrow but decided against it, later regretting not taking the role so much that he got himself a part as a pirate in 2007's Stardust alongside Charlie Cox and Claire Danes. Of course, Captain Shakespeare dressed up as a woman and danced around, which Jack Sparrow would never — actually, he probably would.
8. Spielberg Wanted To Make The Film In The '90s
Before Gore Verbinski got his chance to make the film, Steven Spielberg was really interested in the idea in the '90s and wanted to make it with somebody like Robin Williams or Bill Murray as Sparrow, but Disney didn't allow it to go into production for some reason.
9. Heath Ledger Almost Played Will Turner
Yep, Heath Ledger could well have gotten the role, but Disney decided at the last minute that Orlando Bloom would be a better choice because of the brand recognition he had after filming Lord of the Rings. In fact, the first trailer for Pirates debuted in cinemas alongside Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and the film came out the next year, four months before Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was released.
10. Jack Sparrow Was Written For Hugh Jackman
Originally, Hugh Jackman was in mind for the role the entire time the script was being written. However, the producers decided that Jackman wasn't a big enough name to take on the role. Hugh Jackman — not a big enough star for a role. It seems crazy to think of that now, but that's what the gift of hindsight will do for you.
Which of these facts did you not know about Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl?