With the umpteenth Pirates movie recently released in cinemas, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, it’s worth looking back on the series and all of its casting decisions.
It’s difficult to separate essentially all of the actors from their roles, especially when their roles defined many of their future careers, but this is exactly what this article will attempt to do.
We can’t help but wonder how the franchise would’ve turned out without Johnny Depp as Captain Jack. Nor can we help but ponder the idea of an Orlando Bloom-less Will Turner. Yet times change, and with it, actors either suffer from bad publicity, or simply from poor casting choices, and thus fade into obscurity. In the current age, Pirates of the Caribbean would look vastly different, which seems obvious to say, but is much more difficult to imagine.
Nevertheless, we’ve imagined it. Featuring a mix of up-and-coming actors, veterans of cinema, and unconventional decisions, we’ve assigned each main character in the franchise with the actor that’s most suited to the role if the movie were recast.
So, What If Pirates Of The Caribbean Were Cast Today? Let’s find out.
15. Florence Pugh As Elizabeth Swann
Emma Watson may seem like a decent choice for Elizabeth Swann – she’s young, highly marketable, very British, and not afraid to participate in blockbusters. However, it must be remembered that Keira Knightley made her big break in the first movie.
Emma Watson’s simply too popular, and so we should turn to an actress who is largely unrecognized, but has the potential for great things: Florence Pugh. She’s a relatively unknown actor who has received high praise for her work in Lady Macbeth and The Falling, and her Britishness and on-screen charisma lends well to the role of Elizabeth Swann.
What’s more, her role in Lady Macbeth proves that she’s at home acting in the upper echelons of societal classes, and also displays, much like Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann, that she’s certainly not a push-over.
14. Michael Smiley As Hector Barbossa
Hector Barbossa’s character arc was originally planned to finish after the first movie. Great public reception to the character, however, largely due to Geoffrey Rush’s portrayal, meant that he returned as one of the main recurring characters in the series.
This means that it’s a big name to live up to. Thankfully, Michael Smiley is more than a competent replacement. Slowly gaining recognition after roles in Free Fire and The Lobster, as well as a small cameo in Star Wars: Rogue One; casting him as one of the series’ most beloved characters would be more than deserved.
He shares the gruff, dishevelled, twisted look that’s attached to Barbossa, and his roles in A Field in England and the Netflix series Black Mirror certainly proves that he can cut quite the menacing figure. It helps, too, that his Northern Irish accent is not far off Barbossa’s own.