Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was an exceptionally fun movie, with a whole lot of trivia going on behind the scenes.
With the recent news that Margot Robbie would be heading a spin-off of thePirates of the Caribbean franchise for Disney, the original trilogy of films has reentered the cultural consciousness. Those movies, featuring Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann, and Will Turner, are iconic stories of swashbuckling adventure on the high seas.
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The production of the films is also filled with myriad fun facts. Behind the scenes,Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, specifically, contained a large amount of fun trivia. From the special effects to the appreciated input from many creators to the actual shooting of the film itself,Dead Man's Chest was a special film in recent Hollywood blockbuster memory.
Back when the movie was being filmed, production in the islands of the Atlantic Ocean was suspended. This was before the time of the coronavirus postponing all film shoots, though.Dead Man's Chest went on pause because of Hurricane Wilma.
At the time, fearful of the storm's effects, the cast and crew evacuated to Los Angeles. Those are the dangers of shooting on location, after all.
At the time of development, the success ofPirates of the Caribbean was unexpected and the screenwriters went back to the conception stage to come up with a plan for sequels. As such, Keira Knightley's hair was not necessarily prepared to become Elizabeth again.
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For filmingDomino, Knightley sported a pixie hair cut, but it ended up causing some mishaps for the makeup and hair team onPirates. As such, the hair Elizabeth maintains is not quite Keira Knightley's! They're hair extensions!
WhenDead Man's Chest was originally plotted out, the composition of the Flying Dutchman was slated to be comprised of ghosts. After all, the spirits and phantoms of folklore have long been associated with the ship.
However, it was Gore Verbinski who opposed this notionand instead pushed them to be real members of the crew, if not entirely human. Instead, motion capture suits were used to scan the actors who comprised the crew and insert them into the shots on the ship. That's movie magic, baby!
Would it truly be a Johnny Depp film if Tim Burton didn't come along to aid the creative process in some capacity? When attempting to nail design the aforementioned design of the Flying Dutchman's crew, extraneous help was required.
The artistic Burton, busy with his own films at the time, still found some spare moments to design the villainous pirate crew members. It's clear that Burton's touch really helps creative concepts come to life.
One of the lasting legacies ofDead Man's Chest is the immaculate CGI creation for Davy Jones, Bill Nighy's antagonist figure. His gooey, tentacle-ridden face was a major achievement in the world of filmmaking and CGI.
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It was not easy for the special effects designers to animate the tentacles of the Kraken in a realistic fashion, though. That is, until the animation director onPirates,Hal T. Hickel, tasked his team with viewing the 1962 kaiju classic,King Kong vs. Godzilla, and its specific octopus scene. Much love is due toIshir Honda.
The tentacles of a classic kaiju film are not the only influences possessed by Davy Jones' CGI manifestation and the monstrous Kraken. To achieve the desired look, color, and shading of Jones' hideous image, the animators used an unconventional reference point.
His texture was developed from the scanned image of a filthy, Styrofoam coffee cup. Sometimes, the answers to filmmaking headaches can be found where one least expects them. Like the garbage can.
For as massive and expansive as the CGI was in the secondPirates movie, not all of the film was CGI. After all, practical effects go a long way for developing the authenticity of the high-seas adventure.
In the climactic moment of the film, when Jack Sparrow comes face to face with the Kraken, the beast spits at him and blows him away with the action's force. However, this spit was not CGI. It was said to be legitimate, veritable slime that was hurled at Depp. Such is the life of an actor.
The firstPirates of the Caribbean film was shot solely in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. However, with a bigger budget and higher expectations, Disney allowed the sequel to become an island-trotting affair.
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More than St. Vincent,Dead Man's Chest also filmed in Palos Verdes, the Bahamas, and Dominica. On top of that, some sets were even constructed for the purposes of filming at Disney's own film studios! It helps the film feel massive in scope, for sure.
In addition to traveling to many islands in the Caribbean,Dead Man's Chest also possessed the unique shooting element of being filmed consecutively withAt World's End, the third installment of the franchise.
The first film was conceived, initially, as a stand-alone adventure. But when the success was undeniable, the next two sequels were conceived in tandem with one another and shot that way, as well. The technique would later be parroted byInfinity War andEndgame, too.
Combining everything learned so far aboutDead Man's Chest, from the artistic development to the shooting methodology to the occasional practical effects, it's no surprise that the wildest behind-the-scenes fact ofDead Man's Chest is the fact that two working pirate ships were constructed for the film.
No wonder the films feel so authentic and fully-realized. Full working models of the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman were crafted for the film's sequels in accordance with an Alabama oil tanker. It's hard to get any bigger than that.
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David Mello is a writer, journalist, and editor from Boston, Massachusetts. He is obsessed with pop culture and sports and loves to expand his cultural knowledge of film, television, music, literature, and more. He currently writes for ScreenRant as a member of the Valnet, Inc. team. David has also written for OneClass, Moms Who Think, Up to Boston, the Boston Herald, and more. He spends just as much time watching classic movies as he does setting his fantasy football lineup.
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