Coming off of their most successful year to date, Disney is setting itself up for an equally exciting 2017. The studio won’t just have the newest Star Wars and Marvel films either, with another one of its most coveted franchises set to return to the big screen this year, with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Starring Johnny Depp once again in one of his most iconic roles as Jack Sparrow, the film follows the famed pirate captain as he faces off against a new villain the likes of which he’s never seen before, this time played by Javier Bardem.
The film’s short teaser trailer focused very little on Jack Sparrow, surprisingly, and instead was intent on teasing some of its new characters, with Bardem’s Captain Salazar and the rest of his ghostly pirate crew making their introduction to Brenton Thwaites’ Henry. There was even a little bit of Bardem’s trademark, sinister mix of villainous comedy sprinkled into it.
Thanks to the film’s new official plot summary, released online by Disney, some additional details about its story and its new characters have been revealed. That includes Kaya Scodelario’s “brilliant and beautiful” Carina Smyth, who Jack apparently forms an uneasy alliance with; Thwaites’ Henry, who is described as a “headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy”; and more details on Salazar’s mission, and why Jack is forced to find the Trident of Poseidon in the first place. Here is the synopsis in full:
“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 Salazer (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on 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 pitifull 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 never faced.”
Diehard fans of the Pirates franchise will likely be surprised to learn that Dead Men Tell No Tales will feature Jack sailing on a completely different ship than his beloved Black Pearl, which has been such a constant figure in the franchise it might as well be as iconic as Captain Jack himself at this point. Meanwhile, Bardem’s Salazar is described as the most “malicious” and “formidable” foe Jack’s ever faced – and while that might sound hyperbolic considering the franchise’s previous, larger-than-life bad guys, the fact that Salazar is looking to kill every single pirate at sea after escaping from the “Devil’s Triangle,” and that he’s being played by Javier Bardem, makes it seem like he may actually live up to his description.
Gore Verbinski directed the first three films in the franchise, before handing the fourth installment off to director Rob Marshall, and now, co-directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg will get to take a crack at the Pirates world. Based on the teaser trailer as well, it seems like the duo have at least managed to maintain one of the Pirates‘ franchise’s strongest traits in the new film: its almost iconic atmosphere and consistent tone. Geoffrey Rush is expected to reprise his role as Captain Barbossa in the film alongside Depp and some of the franchise’s other regular supporting players also, but after the several year gap between At World’s End and On Stranger Tides to now the six-year wait for this, it’ll be interesting to see if Dead Men Tell No Tales is able to replicate the same success of its predecessors – or if audiences will decide that the franchise has outlasted its welcome – when it hit theaters this summer.