While the first two trailers for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales showed very little of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, the same can't be said for the trailer that was released this morning. Though it simultaneously introduced some brand new characters as well, the notorious pirate was once again at the center of the marketing... and most surprising of all, was actually shown at very different ages. Your eyes most definitely did not deceive you: the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean will have Depp playing a younger version of himself with the assist of some digital de-aging.
The flashback footage was definitely a surprising inclusion in the new preview, so I felt it vital to ask co-director Joachim Rønning about it when I had the opportunity to hop on the phone with him for an interview earlier this morning. The filmmaker told me that there wasn't too much that he could say about the digital de-aging process so many weeks before the movie's theatrical release, but did confirm that it is the blockbuster's lead actor playing a younger version of himself. Said Rønning,
I don't know how much I can go into about that right now. It is Johnny Depp playing a young version of himself. That kind of 21 Jump Street age. That was an amazing process to be a part of, and to work on and digitally go in and manipulate that.
For those of you who missed it, you can catch the digitally de-aged Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales trailer at around the 22 second mark. Watch it below!
Digitally de-aging actors for flashbacks and various other purposes has become a more and more popular tool for filmmakers in the modern age, and we've seen a number of examples of it in the last few years. Things admittedly got off to a rough start with Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy, but since then we've seen stunning examples in movies like Ant-Man (with Michael Douglas) and Captain America: Civil War (with Robert Downey Jr.). Not only is it cool to see it once again in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, but it's exciting to think how it may further propagate in the industry and improve -- opening up all kinds of amazing creative opportunities for the future.
You can read more from my interview with Joachim Rønning here, as we also discussed the movie's potential position as a franchise finale... but we also plan to be following Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales closely in the weeks leading up to the film's theatrical release on May 26th. Stay tuned for more of CinemaBlend's coverage, and hit the comments section below to tell us what you think of digitally de-aged Captain Jack Sparrow!