The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is a modern Hollywood property that simply refuses to die. Six years ago, a fourth entry - On Stranger Tides - was released to far less critical acclaim that the Pirates movies had become accustomed to and although it still made over a billion dollars in theaters worldwide, its domestic haul was noticeably lower than those for the first three Pirates films.
In spite of this, producer Jerry Bruckheimer pressed ahead with a fifth installment - titled Dead Men Tell No Tales - and the forthcoming movie sees the return of Orlando Bloom's Will Turner to the franchise. Turner was last seen in the third Pirates film, At World's End, destined to captain the Flying Dutchman. Pirates of the Caribbean mainstays Geoffrey Rush and Kevin McNally are also returning as Captain Barbossa and First Mate Gibbs respectively, in Dead Men Tell No Tales.
A new Dead Men Tell No Tales poster has now been released by Walt Disney Studios and it places its focus heavily on the franchise's central star, Johnny Depp. A close-up of Depp's face in full Jack Sparrow regalia that will surely have the character's legions of fans across the world swooning, the poster also features several notable details: a black X on Sparrow's cheekbone and a tattoo across the character's knuckles that seems to read 'Jakc' and these mysterious additions will only add to the anticipation created by the Dead Men Tell No Tales Super Bowl LI trailer.
From a marketing point of view, focusing on Depp for the movie's promotion is undoubtedly a smart move, even if the actor's fortunes have waned somewhat. As for what the 'X' could mean, every good pirate knows X marks the spot but other than highlighting Depp's famous cheekbones, the significance of this is currently unclear given the plot information currently available. With regards to Jack's new hand ink, it's possible that the tattoo is a playful reminder that for all his wit and cunning, the pirate was never particularly literate. However, with the plot of Dead Men Tell No Tales centered on Jack searching for an artifact that would give him total control of the seas, it's possible 'J-A-K-C' is some kind of clue on his quest, rather than just a poor attempt at spelling one's name.
For many moviegoers, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has long overstayed its welcome on the big screen. While even the series' biggest critics would have to admit that the first and second installments were - at the very least - good blockbuster flicks, love for the series cooled dramatically with the last two movies. The feeling going into Dead Men Tell No Tales has more than just a hint of skepticism about it, seeing as Depp's career away from the high seas continues to struggle.
With that said, the return of fan-favorite Will Turner can only be a good thing. The character will also be markedly different compared to how fans are used to seeing him given his new job as Captain of the Flying Dutchman; and it will be interesting to see how Sparrow and Turner's love/hate relationship develops over the course of Dead Men Tell No Tales. Whether this will be enough to return to franchise to its former glory remains to be seen but as long as Captain Jack keeps bringing Disney the treasure, he'll carry on sailing.
Source: Walt Disney Studios
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) release date: May 26, 2017