With Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides coming out on May 20th, I thought it would be fitting to feature none other than the character Captain Jack Sparrow for May’s “Jack of the Month.” The star of the swashbuckling film franchise, Jack Sparrow is eccentric, self-preserving, and very fun to watch. The screen writers, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio describe him as “a trickster who uses wit and deceit to attain his goals, preferring to end disputes verbally instead of by force. He walks with a slightly drunken swagger and has slurred speech and flailing hand gestures…” He’s played by actor Johnny Depp who has given the character his own unique stamp.
|Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow.|
In fact, his approach to the character was so out-of-the-box that Disney originally hated his performance. Michael Eisner is quoted to have said, “He’s ruining the film!” He questioned whether the character was supposed to be drunk or gay… neither of which he approved of. Other Disney executives felt the same way. But director Gore Verbinski had faith in Johnny Depp’s instincts. Of the character, Depp has always felt that a pirate was very akin to a rock star so he based the character off of Keith Richards (who the filmmakers later cast as Jack Sparrow’s father in the third film, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as sort of an inside joke).
The first one, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, came out in 2003 and I loved it! And I don’t think I was the only one… it made over $650,000,000 worldwide. That’s a lot of pirate booty! Critics praised Johnny Depp’s characterization of Jack Sparrow. Roger Ebert said Depp’s performance was "original in its every atom. There has never been a pirate, or for that matter a human being, like this in any other movie ... his behavior shows a lifetime of rehearsal." People love these movies, as do I, and I’m sure many would agree that Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow makes them what they are. He’s stolen the show, which is probably why this fourth movie coming out in a couple weeks is all about him. There’s no Will Turner. There’s no Elizabeth Swann. It’s just Jack!