Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy pirate movie directed by Gore Verbinski and is the first movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series. Produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer, the movie is based on Walt Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disney theme parks. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
1. The movie follows pirate Jack Sparrow and blacksmith Will Turner as they rescue the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captain by Hector Barbossa, who become undead skeletons at night.
2. The movie received positive reviews from critics and was an unexpected success, grossing over $654 million worldwide, with many considering it to be the best entry in the series.
3. Johnny Depp won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and earned nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
4. The Curse of the Black Pearl was nominated for four other Academy Awards and BAFTA’s.
5. Johnny Depp improvised Jack Sparrow’s catch phrase, “Savvy?”
6. Jack, the monkey, is seen smiling when Barbossa thanks him specifically after he returns the Aztec coin to him, after Jack Sparrow chases him. In the special features on the DVD, it’s revealed that the monkey did this purely by chance, and it wasn’t planned out in any way.
7. Keira Knightley claimed that she was so sure she was going to get fired after a few days work on the movie that she only packed a few things to go with her to start filming.
8. The scene where Orlando Bloom impersonates Johnny Depp’s performance, was devised by Bloom, who asked producer Jerry Bruckheimer if he could put it into the movie.
9. Johnny Depp wore contact lenses, which served as sunglasses, so he wouldn’t be squinting in the sun all the time.
10. Clothing and smears of charcoal were used to conceal Johnny Depp’s many tattoos. The “Jack Sparrow” tattoo on his arm in the movie is a fake, but he got a real replica after finishing the movie, in honor of his son Jack.
11. According to the screenwriters’ commentary on the DVD, Will Turner is the best swordsman in the movie, Barbossa and Commodore Norrington are evenly matched, and Jack Sparrow is the worst.
12. Originally, Johnny Depp wanted Jack Sparrow to have no nose and be afraid of silly things like pepper and the common cold. However, Disney rejected the idea.
13. One of the movie’s last lines, “Bring me that horizon,” was conceived by Johnny Depp one the morning the scene was filmed.
14. There is a small scab on Jack Sparrow’s chin that gets bigger and bigger throughout the movie. The make-up artist and Johnny Depp did it on purpose as a prank.
15. Having decided that pirates were the 18th century equivalent of rock stars, Johnny Depp’s characterization of Jack Sparrow was inspired by close observation of his friend Keith Richards, though he emphasized in interviews that it wasn’t an impersonation.
16. The title was originally just “Pirates of the Caribbean,” but the name was changed, in the hope that it would do well at the box office and a sequel could be made.
17. The East India Company, the real life counterpart of the movie’s East India Trading Company, really did brand pirates with a “P”, but it was put on their forehead instead of their arm.
18. When filming in the cave, excessive make up was added to the actors so they wouldn’t looked washed out on film. When the crew realized how cool the make up looked on Johnny Depp, they continued to use it on him for the rest of the movie.
19. Robert De Niro was offered the role of Jack Sparrow, but he declined, thinking that the movie wouldn’t do well in the box office as many other pirate movies in the past. He was proven wrong, and so he accepted the role of Captain Shakespeare in the movie Stardust.
20. The final cannon shot during the Black Pearl’s siege of the town, billows into a Mickey Mouse head shape against the night sky.
21. Keira Knightley revealed on a talk show that during the filming of the movie, she had to constantly have padding to make her chest appear, “like there’s something there.”
22. When Will wakes up after being knocked out, the morning after the Port Royal siege, he looks out into the port, and in the background is a young girl sweeping a porch. The actress is Lucinda Dryzek, who plays Young Elizabeth in the beginning of the movie.
23. The substance sprayed on William Turner, after the sword fight between him and Captain Jack Sparrow, is actually powdered chocolate.
24. Industrial Light and Magic designers scanned turkey jerky to create the effect of decomposing skin when the pirates turn into their skeletal forms.
25. When casting for the role of Will Turner, it was down to Orlando Bloom or Heath Ledger. Gore Verbinski chose Blood because he heard that he was in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and he felt that he would be a more bankable choice.
26. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is the 10th highest grossing franchise ever.
27. The names of the three main characters are all linked to birds. Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann and William Turner, who was a famous ornithologist.
28. The name “Barbossa” might have been derived from the real Turkish pirate “Barbarossa.” Barbarossa, also known as “Redbeard,” was one a pirate in the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas before he came a Fleet Admiral of the Ottoman Empire Navy.
29. The facial hair sported by Gibbs is Kevin McNally’s own. He grew it to shorten the time spent on make up during filming.
30. The skull and crossed blades flag was the flag of “Calico” John Rackam, longtime lover of notorious female pirate Anne Bonny.