Published On: Fri, Oct 8th, 2021

Pirates of the Caribbean writer: ‘Johnny Depp was NOT the main character’ | Films | Entertainment

​The first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was released in 2003 ​and introduced Johnny Depp‘s hero Jack Sparrow​ to the Disney series. His floaty performance has since gone down in history as one of the most ​memorable performances of all time. Since then, Sparrow has gone on to be the star of the franchise – but he was not originally intended to be the main hero.

Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio revealed they preferred another character over Sparrow.

Elliott said: “In Pirates, Elizabeth is the protagonist, representing the idea of the romance of the pirate.

“The romantic illusion of the outlaw is a very common concept in our society; in fact, the underpinning of all romances is the anti-hero, the Byronic bad boy. That’s what Elizabeth is looking for.” (From Creative Screenwriting via Inside the Magic)

READ MORE: Johnny Depp hits out at Disney: ‘You can’t take Jack Sparrow away’

Going on to expand on how Keira Knightley’s character was supposed to be part of a larger characterisation theory, Elliott said: “Each of the characters surrounding her present differing points of view on that issue.

“[Buena Vista Motion Picture Group President] Nina Jacobson put it best. She said it’s like an animated movie: You have the prince [Captain Norrington], the pauper [Will Turner], the rogue [Jack Sparrow] and the villain [Captain Barbossa].

“All of these characters are presenting these different points of view to the princess [Elizabeth].”

While Elizabeth was planned to be the main protagonist of the series, she didn’t remain in the franchise going forward.

Depp said during a press conference: “I suppose this is the positive side of having, in a strange way, given life to those characters like Captain Jack or whatever character that I was lucky enough to locate and bring to life the beauty of Captain Jack Sparrow.

“I’ll go to somebody’s house, man, I’ll perform at your kid’s birthday party at this point.”

The 58-year-old added: “I don’t need a company to do that. I can just do that myself and nobody can take that away.”

These comments echo his sentiments from the San Sebastian Film Festival earlier this year.

Depp said at the film festival: “That’s the greatest pleasure of Jack Sparrow. I can travel with Captain Jack in a box.

“Literally, Captain Jack in a box, and when the opportunity is right and I’m able to go and visit people and places where the smiles and the laughs and the things that are important, the most important things in the world are on the line.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean films are available on Disney Plus now.


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