Captain Jack Sparrow has become such a part of pop culture that it's easy to forget that initial Pirates of the Caribbean movies weren't really about him. That changed with the last film in the franchise and the result was less than sea worthy. So what's the status of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead men Tell No Tales? Co-director Joachim Rønning spoke to CinemaBlend exclusively and told us that, while Jack Sparrow is certainly in a lot of the movie, he won't be the sole focus that he was in On Stranger Tides.
It's always going to be hard to top Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, and take more space from him. Although, for a few minutes, he might not be on camera. [Laughs] I do think the balance of the first movie was, you know... it was this amazing love story. And then Jack came in and crashed the party every now and then. I have been very inspired by that. I think that we've probably gone back to more of that kind of balance in [Dead Men Tell No Tales].
Director Joachim Rønning told our own Eric Eisenberg that the first Pirates movie went a long way to informing the fifth one. Jack Sparrow was a vital character in the original Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, but he was one of three vital characters who each shared the screen. The romance between Orlando Bloom's Will Turner and Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swann was just as important, if not more so, to the entire first trilogy. None of them had to hold up the entire movie by themselves.
Unfortunately, Johnny Depp's co-stars did not return for the fourth installment of the franchise and rather than see them replaced, we got the Jack Sparrow show instead. It was here where we learned that it is possible to get too much of a good thing. However much you enjoyed Jack Sparrow's antics previously, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was simply too much. He needed other characters to give us a break in between.
In the case of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, those breaks will come from actors Brenton Thwaites and Kya Scodelario. Especially in the most recent trailer we see the three characters interacting together and the dynamic certainly wants to evoke our memories of the first film. It seems this was an intentional movie based on the comments of Joachim Rønning. While it's far from clear there is any love story here, there are, at the very least, other characters to act as foil to Captain Jack.
This is very likely good news for the final product. While we don't know a great deal about these new characters, there's nothing wrong with adding some fresh blood to the franchise. Besides, since we now know that the new movie isn't necessarily the last one, we may be seeing them again.