Dead Men Tell No Tales is in theaters TODAY! Who’s going?
Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle benton killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.
25 Fun Facts on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- Young actor Brenton Thwaites, who portrays Henry in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” has been a fan of the film series since he was a schoolboy growing up in Queensland, Australia. No one was more delighted than he to discover that not only had he been cast as the young lead of the film, but that it would film almost entirely in…Queensland, Australia!
- In typical “Pirates of the Caribbean” tradition—which has seen the cast and crew of the previous four films battling extreme weather conditions all over the world—the film’s primary shooting location of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, suffered its wettest conditions in 61 years due to a cyclone named Marcia.
- Each shop in the St. Martin set had some of its wares displayed outside, whether dried octopus and squid (both real, and stinking to high heaven over the course of many months), netting, basketry, pottery and foodstuffs.
- For the film’s bank heist sequence, an entire 18th century bank was constructed around a mechanized tractor called a Manitou. The driver of the Manitou was able to see out of a plexiglass false front, but no one could see in, and the illusion of four walls was perfectly sustained.
- Costume designer Penny Rose and her team converted an entire 20,000 foot sound stage at Village Roadshow Studios in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia into a wardrobe warehouse filled with 2000 costumes, hats, shoes and accessories, all meticulously arranged by character names, types, genders and ages. To properly age the wardrobe, Penny Rose and her team used a variety of innovative techniques, including putting them along with pebbles in a cement mixer, using cheese graters to wear them down and, occasionally, taking blowtorches to materials as well!
- The so-called “ship arena” in Helensvale, Queensland, Australia was the site of eleven ships, which were constructed on computerized motion bases. Curious members of the public could catch a glimpse of a mast or two peeking out from 100 shipping cargo containers piled on top of each other like bricks. One of the local newspapers surmised that the purpose of the stacked containers was to hide the top-secret filming from prying eyes. In fact, the containers formed the frame for a remarkable technology called Aircover Inflatables —massive inflatable blue screens- later to be replaced with sky and surf by visual effects supervisor Gary Brozenich and his team. The four inventors of this technology were honored with a special Technical Achievement Award at the 2016 Oscars®.
- No fewer than 27 “knucklebooms” (giraffe-like boom cranes for hydraulic lifting,loading and handling) were employed by production in the ship arena, and a 150-foot-long lighting grid hovered over the ships to impart just the right atmosphere by day, or especially, at night. Three Technocranes worked everyday with five cameras mounted on them. All in all, the ship arena featured 30-40 pieces of heavy equipment.
- Called a “bruised bouncer” by its architect, production designer Nigel Phelps, Captain Salazar’s ship is nothing less than a floating Spanish castle, with turrets and a castle keep in its rear, swiveling cannons on deck and statues of medieval knights in full armor adorning her decks and exterior. Festooning the gun port lids like sinister guardians are golden twin-horned devil heads, as if to further intimidate the enemy or pirates, or indicate the dark heart of its captain. On deck are large wooden barrels, meant not to give the crew water or wine, but rather the worst place for imprisonment.
- Although Captain Salazar’s ship is meant to be a fanciful creation rather than strictly abiding by nautical histories, the double-headed eagle on the massive main sail was borrowed by Phelps from historic designs, and the cannons on deck feature the Royal Spanish Seal and are festooned with two dolphins each, a typical motif for French and Spanish cannons of the 18th century.
- When darkness fell in Helensvale, a few kangaroos would often emerge in a wide, grassy field just to the rear of the massive catering tent to curiously examine the strange goings-on in their neighborhood.
- For his extensive makeup as the cursed Captain Salazar, actor Javier Bardem endured anywhere from two to three hours in the makeup chair each and everyday. But when the beautiful Golshifteh Farahani was transformed into the mysterious sea witch Shansa, she required four to five hours!
- Key hair designer Peter Swords King’s department created more than 1,000 wigs for the film, and on the biggest days made up 700 extras and 30 principals, with a main team of 22 people and another 70 in a vast tent for background, stunt players and wranglers. The facility was humorously referred to as “the sausage factory.”
- The capstan of the Black Pearl is the very same one which was seen in the earlier incarnations of the ship in the first, second and third films, a true salty survivor
of the seas! (For you landlubbers, the capstan is a mechanism that turns so that rope or cable can wind around it and move or lift heavy weights, such as a ship’s anchor.)
- In the Execution Square guillotine sequence, the two heads detached from their former owners’ bodies were modeled after directors Joachim Rønning and EspenSandberg!
- At Hastings Point, just across the Queensland border in New South Wales, the filming day began with beautiful welcome dances performed for the cast and crew by members of the Goobjingburra Clan of the Bundjalung people, caretakers of that land for thousands of years.
- The uproarious “shotgun wedding” sequence filmed at Hastings Point became a true family affair for Stephen Graham (Scrum), whose wife Hannah Walters—a talented actress in her own right— was asked by the filmmakers to portray Captain Jack’s would-be, not-so-blushing bride, Beatrice Kelly. Graham and Walters’ two spirited and adorable children, Alfie and Grace, played Beatrice’s two kids. And it was up to the talented hair and makeup departments to make the otherwise attractive Graham/Walters clan look as unappealing as possible!
- For Oscar® winner Javier Bardem, taking on the role of Captain Salazar was somewhat of a family affair. Bardem’s wife, Penelope Cruz, starred in the previous “Pirates” film, “On Stranger Tides,” and Bardem was a frequent visitor to that set.
- Spanish actor Juan Carlos Vellido is the only credited performer to portray two different characters in two different “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, having been seen as a Spanish Sea Captain in “On Stranger Tides,” and now playing Captain Salazar’s loyal Lieutenant Lesaro in “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
- There were 88 versions of Carina Smyth’s cherished diary before the one used in the film was finally settled upon. The covers are leather- bound, and aging on the pages was done in an interesting method…by dousing them in coffee!
- Captain Jack Sparrow’s hero rum bottle prop is an actual 18th century item from England. Meanwhile, several of the film’s parasols were handmade by a little old lady in her 70s in Brisbane, one of the last people in the world who do such craftsmanship.
- As portrayed by Golshifteh Farahani, sea witch Shansa’s costume took 15 hours a day for a week to create just one of them, with 42 people working on it.
- On the day of the spinning guillotine “gag” for the Execution Square sequence, several inches of rain fell on the St. Martin set. To keep the ground dry for shooting, the grounds crew moved 30 tons of sand in.
- When the “Dead Men Tell No Tales” company filmed in the thick jungle of Tamborine Mountain, they had to don hardhats to protect their heads from remarkably heavy black beans falling from the ancient trees. The Australian crew, tongues firmly planted in cheek, told their colleagues from America and other countries that they were actually for “drop bears,” the mythical monster marsupials resembling large, carnivorous koalas, which supposedly drop onto unsuspecting victims’ heads from tall treetops.
- The massive logistical operation for the company’s filming in the Whitsunday Islands required 60 trucks traveling 1400 kilometers from the production’s Gold Coast base, followed by a 40-minute drive and barge trip from the mainland to Hamilton Island, one of the locations, and then another hour-and-a-half barge trip to other islands where the company was filming.
- When the “Dead Men Tell No Tales” company filmed at Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands, unusual weather and tide conditions created a situation where actors and crew alike disembarked from landing craft as if staging a military invasion, wading up to their waists, chests, or necks, depending upon their height, in street clothes. No one expected to be swimming to work that day!
Fun Family Activities
How does creating a spy glass or making your own Captain Jack bandana sound? These items, activity sheets, recipes and more can be found at http://pirates.disney.com/games-activities. Just head over and download the pages and instructions to your computer and print them out!
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