‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ 20 Years Later

Pirates of the Caribbean Poster
Credit: Disney

On June 28, 2003, the world was introduced to Captain Jack Sparrow.

A Still of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow

Credit: Disney

June 2003

The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) hit theaters 20 years ago this June to rave reviews from audiences and critics. It was praised for its unique story, interesting characters, and high production value, which included a thrilling musical score and special effects.

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The chemistry between the cast members, including Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, was also cited as a significant strength of the movie (and its sequels). The film became one of the highest-grossing films that year, making $654 million worldwide at the box office.

Captain Barbossa

Credit: D23

A Pirates of the Caribbean Reboot?

As the film marks its 20th anniversary, The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is still alive, having cemented a status in pop culture helped by the fact that Johnny Depp is still one of Hollywood’s A-list actors.

Its success has led to four sequels: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), At World’s End (2007), On Stranger Tides (2011), and Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), with talk of reviving the franchise coming as recently as last week. In an interview with The New York Times, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production president Sean Bailey mentioned that reviving the franchise is a priority at Disney. Although there has been talk of a new Margot Robbie female-lead pirate film and a rumored movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, nothing is officially greenlit.

The Rock Dwayne Johnson

Credit: ABC

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However, Bailey said there is a story in place for a potential reboot. “We think we have a really good, exciting story that honors the films that have come before but also has something new to say,” Bailey said.

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Although much has changed in the past 20 years (in 2003, there weren’t smartphones or even social media), it’s sad to imagine the franchise moving forward without Captain Jack Sparrow. When the original movie came out, many people reportedly at Disney did not like what Johnny Depp did with the character. Yet, Depp’s unique performance arguably led to the franchise’s intense success.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney

As the month unfolds, hopefully, Disney will announce some special merchandise or events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their most successful attraction-based franchise.

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About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)