The first Pirates of the Caribbean film took a lot of inspiration from the ride, mostly in the form of making skeleton pirates a major part of the story. Following the franchise's success, many of the characters from the films became part of the ride itself. Now, it appears that Disney may be going back to the ride to look for new inspiration, as a new rumor indicates that the ride's newest character, the female pirate Redd, may be replacing Captain Jack in the rumored reboot.
This is only a rumor, and thus sodium chloride should be applied liberally to the situation, but HN Entertainment claims that, while certainly, no script is finished, and thus things may change, the studio is interested in seeing the reboot focus on Redd, the character born of the ride's most recent refurbishment.
Disneyland attractions go through many changes over the years and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is certainly no exception. The vignette to see changes most recently involved the "bride auction." The sequence showed women, who had been captured from a recently looted town, being put up for sale to the highest bidder. The moment captured in the ride saw a large round woman on the auction block, though she was being entirely ignored in favor of a shapely redhead in the line.
The new scene sees the same redhead (though she actually looks quite different by virtue of being a new, more advanced, audio-animatronic) now as a pirate herself. Her name is Redd, and in addition to being part of the ride, she's actually become a character who walks around New Orleans Square at Disneyland so fans can get pictures with her.
She looks pretty awesome in the ride and seeing her at the wheel of a pirate ship with an epic score playing in the background is a picture that paints itself. I'm looking forward to the trailer already.
There are several reasons why, even though this is a rumor, there's a certain amount of logic to it. The first is that, well, I suggested Redd specifically as one option for the reboot. Although, I really do still like the idea of bringing back Zoe Saldana's character from the original film as well. Maybe a female pirate buddy movie?
Anchoring the reboot movie in something from the ride makes sense, but the previous franchise did a lot of mining of the ride already, and that, combined with the parts of the ride that have changed because of the films, means there isn't a lot left in the ride that isn't already part of the movies. The change to Redd that has occurred at Disneyland and Walt Disney World has only happened in about the last year, so it's one of the few parts of the ride that could be used that hasn't been done already.
It also makes a lot of sense to make the protagonist of the reboot female. Disney has seen a lot of success with female-led movies of late and changing the gender of the hero in the reboot has the added benefit of separating the new film from the previous five in a major way. Any male pirate hero is going to be immediately compared to Captain Jack Sparrow, but Redd would be harder to compare and so it would be easier for her to stand on her own.
Disney is also all about the corporate synergy and the company's ability to tie its movie and theme park businesses together is unparalleled. The fact that Disney made Redd a walk around character at Disneyland at the same time that the new part of the ride opened shows that Disney wants to make Redd a popular character. They see this character as somebody who can be successful, and so making a movie about her, which will help promote the theme park, which can, in turn, promote the movie, is just about the most Disney move that there is.
Of course, at this point, it needs to be remembered that, not only is the idea of Redd being the new hero a rumor, technically, this entire movie is. While it has been reported that Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have been in talks with Disney to helm the reboot, neither side has confirmed that said talks have taken place. Even the reports that have surfaced don't contend that the talks have actually been successful, which means that we're a long way away from knowing for sure where this franchise is going.
The one thing that we can be pretty sure of is that the franchise is going to go somewhere. While the Pirates of the Caribbean movies haven't been the most warmly reviewed in recent years, they've had no problem finding an audience, and so it's difficult to imagine that Disney would just let the brand go into hibernation. If Disney isn't able to come to terms with Reese and Wernick the studio is likely to just go looking for somebody else to write the film.
Besides, maybe a reboot is exactly what the franchise needs? There's nothing wrong with a good pirate movie, and even if you're not a fan of the sequels, most would agree that Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a really fun movie. There's nothing wrong with the idea of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, it just clearly has needed something in recent years that has been missing.
While this is pretty far from confirmed at this point, I'm obviously in favor of the idea and would love to see it all become a reality just like this. If Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese can write a hilarious, but still action-packed, superhero movie, they can certainly do the same thing for a pirate movie, and starting off with a clean slate and all-new characters would give them the freedom to get everything just right. I'll always love Captain Jack Sparrow, but I'm ready to see Captain Redd.
Image Courtesy Disneylandnews.com/Disney