Pirates of the Caribbean captain salazar looks at paper

Writing even just the first entry in a massive franchise can be a daunting task. It's hard to write any movie regardless of size, but bigger ones tend to come with an all new host of challenges -- especially if that movie is the fifth in a series. Sprawling mythologies can get more complicated the longer they go and that might be especially true for Pirates of the Caribbean. The fifth film in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, releases later this year and co-director, Joachim Rønning, said keeping track of its big backstory was a big challenge in scripting it.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are the directors of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Rønning recently sat down with our own Eric Eisenberg in an exclusive interview to talk about the sequel and the franchise as a whole. In the film, Jack Sparrow and crew will be chasing after the Trident of Poseidon, the new mythical plot device. When asked about the Trident, here's what Rønning had to say:

It's always tricky going onto a franchise like this, because the mythology is very complex. So writing new stories within this universe and within this mythology... you need to really do you research. Thank God for screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, you know? Because it's hard to come up with new things. And it's hard not to step on previous rules and mythologies that have been laid out. I think that the fans out there, they know their shit. [Laughs] It's been great. I do think that we came up with a great new device, and everybody's chasing it.

There's no question that when it comes to deep mythology, Pirates of the Caribbean can stand up there with the best of them. Throughout the series, fans have been introduced to curses, undead pirates, mermaids, weird fish pirates that ferry lost souls, a fountain of youth, and a literal goddess of the sea, to name just some of the crazier things. That's a lot for anyone to keep track of, and it must have been a big obstacle for first-timers to the series like Rønning and Sandberg to follow.

Dead Men Tell No Tales itself will be introducing a lot of new backstory into the series. The film's villain, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) leads an entire crew of literal ghost pirates and his origins tie directly into an early unseen adventure of a young Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). There's also the Trident of Poseidon, which has the power to give the wielder control over the entire ocean. Oh, and how could we forget those zombie sharks from the trailer? The series has definitely never had one of those before.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is set to plunder theaters on May 26. Did you see the latest trailer? Click to the next page, and give it a view.

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