Based on the theme park attraction of the same name, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean kicked off a successful movie franchise after hitting theaters in 2003 – and introduced the world to one of the now most iconic pirates in film history, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Originally envisioned as a trilogy of films by director Gore Verbinski, the success of Curse of the Black Pearl led to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End in 2006 and 2007, respectively – both directed by Verbinski.
However, given the success of the sequels, Disney continued the series in 2011 with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which brought on Rob Marshall (Into the Woods) as director. The fourth film saw the return of Depp as Captain Jack, but Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann sat out the adventure. Now, both Depp and Bloom will be reprising their roles for the upcoming film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and the first trailer for the fifth installment of the franchise has debuted.
During the season 2 finale of Fear the Walking Dead on AMC, Disney premiered the first teaser for Dead Men Tell No Tales, which will reteam Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner while the former attempts to evade an old rival – Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem. Geoffrey Rush is additionally set to return as Hector Barbossa, while Dead Men Tell No Tales will feature new characters played by Brenton Thwaites (The Giver) and Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner).
Over the course of its first four installments, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise proved to be a massive financial success, earning a total $3.7 billion at the worldwide box office on a collective budget of $1 billion. However, critical and fan response to the Pirates films have diminished over time, with On Stranger Tides earning a meager 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, and 54 percent from viewers. That said, On Stranger Tides was the second biggest earner of the four movies, with $1.05 billion at the worldwide box office.
As a result, although the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has proved lucrative in the past, it remains to be seen if audiences are still interested in the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow – especially since, by the time Dead Men Tell No Tales hits theaters, it will have been six years since the previous installment. Certainly, given the tone of the first trailer, Dead Men Tell No Tales may in fact capture what worked about The Curse of the Black Pearl. Although the teaser doesn’t offer fans any glimpses of Captain Jack Sparrow (aside from his wanted poster) or Will Turner, the trailer does dish up plenty of ghostly horror through Captain Salazar – and, at its core, The Curse of the Black Pearl was a ghost story.
Still, it remains to be seen if Dead Men Tell No Tales will be able to capture the adventure, the PG-13 horror, and the humor that many found so entertaining in The Curse of the Black Pearl. However, now that Disney has begun the marketing lead up to the film’s release with the first trailer, fans won’t have much longer to wait until Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales debuts in theaters.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens in U.S. theaters on May 26th, 2017.