Haul in the gangplank! Man the main sail!
And so it came to be that Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Mackenzie Crook and a galleon of other stars and celebs turned central London into a roasting, roaring sea of screams and adulation. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest came crashing into the UK last night, neatly mooring itself at the Odeon, Leicester Square. The fans were waiting, and Jerry Bruckhemier’s crew were ready to disembark…
Following the mammoth success of The Curse Of The Black Pearl three years ago, the world has been eagerly anticipating the return of that mischievous rogue, Captain Jack Sparrow. The sight of Knightley (Gucci dress, vintage Cartier diamonds) and Depp (sports-casual, perennial trilby) swishing along the red carpet, meant the wait was finally over. And if that wasn’t enough to send the assembled masses wild, Orlando Bloom’s buoyant strides around the crowd some minutes later left many gasping for breath – one girl almost dropped her signed copy of Empire, and that, of course, just wouldn’t do.
Dead Man’s Chest, or as it is unofficially known, Pirates 2, picks up where the first movie left off. The leading characters return – Knightley’s lovesick Elizabeth Swann, Bloom’s hearty warrior William Turner and, of course, Depp’s magnificent, mincing anti-hero Captain Jack.
There are however, some new key additions to Pirates’ mythology, and uber-baddie of the deep Davy Jones, played by a rather slimy and salivating Bill Nighy, is one of them: “The beauty was that all the effects were entirely computer generated, so I didn’t have to go through prosthetic hell” said the actor. “The bad news was that I had to wear a sad looking computer pyjama suit with a skull cap and a bobble on top – so I looked very lame!”
But others, such as Stellan Skarsgard’s mutated Bootstrap Bill, didn’t escape the make-up chair that easily: “Originally, the effects on my face were going to be CGI, but the make-up artist was so fantastic we decided to let him go on and do the whole thing. It took four and a half hours of make-up in the morning and an hour and a half to get rid of it in the evening – but that was all part of the deal.” It was all worth it though, he said, “It’s rare to find a character-driven Hollywood blockbuster, and this is one of them”.
And what of next summer and Pirates 3? Both Kevin McNally (Gibbs) and Jack Davenport (Norrington) slyly quipped: “If I told you about that, I’d have to kill you”. But fortunately wooden eyed scoundrel Raggedi – tonight found in lovable Mackensie Crook mode – was slightly more helpful, whispering, “it’s bigger and it’s better”. Producer extraordinaire Jerry Bruckhemier had the last word. “[Both films] are a continuation of the story. If you tell great stories, people will come and see them”.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is released across the UK next Friday (July 7).