Some filmmakers promise that their summer movies will have state-of-the-art special effects and big-name stars. The producer and director of the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie are offering a different vow: They pledge that this edition of the franchise will actually be coherent.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer admitted this week at CinemaCon — the movie theater owners convention in Las Vegas — that the last voyage of the franchise “was a little difficult to follow,” which is a bit like saying “War and Peace” is a long book.
“I always like clear storytelling,” Bruckheimer said pointedly. Following that course, May 20’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” will play more like a stand-alone story and not require that moviegoers bring a plot spreadsheet to the multiplex. If the film is a success, the next “Pirates” installment will also play as a self-contained tale, Bruckheimer said.
Rob Marshall, who was a surprise pick to replace Gore Verbinski as the “Pirates” director (Verbinski left to to direct “Rango” after making the first three films), said he spent “a lot of time” on the script by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio “trying to give the story a sense of clarity.” The new movie follows Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he searches for the fountain of youth, accompanied by new love interest Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and the villainous Blackbeard (Ian McShane).
Marshall, best known for directing the Oscar-winning musical “Chicago,” said transitioning from jazz hands to sword fights was not as big a leap as it might appear. “All the action is dance,” Marshall said. In particular, the director said, collaborating with stunt coordinator George Ruge was like teaming up with a choreographer. “I think he felt happy to work with somebody who speaks my language.”
— John Horn
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