Pirates of the Caribbean: Why Zoe Saldanas Anamaria Didnt Return – Screen Rant

Posted: July 21, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Pirates of the Caribbean star Zoe Saldana explains why she left the franchise after the first film, and how the experience almost ended her career.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearlwas a box-office smash for Disney, skyrocketing its cast to global-stardom but actress Zoe Saldana neglected to return for any of its many sequels, citing her treatment off-screen as the reason why. Though she later made waves starring in James Camerons Avatar, and the J.J. Abrams-led Star Trek reboot, Saldanas earlier experience with the then-fledgling Pirates franchise left a sour taste in her mouth and almost led her to quit Hollywood filmmaking altogether.

In The Curse of the Black Pearl, Saldana plays Anamaria: a no-nonsense pirate from Jack Sparrows past. She hunts him down for stealing her boat, and after dealing out a few deserved slaps ends up joining his crew. By the end of the film, having crossed blades with undead pirates, Anamaria and Jack (Johnny Depp) appear to be on better terms; skeleton battles clearly at the heart of any good relationship.

Related:Zoe Saldaa's 5 Best & 5 Worst Movies (According to IMDb)

Unfortunately, in Saldanas experience, this on-screen camaraderie wasnt reflected in the films production though she insists that the cast were not to blame. Talking with THR in 2014, Saldana said, Those weren't the right people for me. I'm not talking about the cast. The cast was great. I'm talking about the political stuff that went on behind closed doors. It was a lot of above-the-line versus below-the-line, extras versus actors, producers versus PAs. It was very elitist. She then went on to discuss the films impact on her career, saying: I almost quit the business. I was 23 years old, and I was like, F this! I am never putting myself in this situation again. People disrespecting me because they look at my number on a call sheet and they think I'm not important. F you.

These statements expanded on previous comments from a 2011 interview with The Independent, in which Saldana said, I didn't like the experience of working on Pirates and I feel that it is my job to be completely honest. To me, that's what a Hollywood movie felt like. If that's what I have to witness, and have to go through, to do a Hollywood movie, I'd rather do something else." Saldana's frustrations were also felt by star Johnny Depp, who revealed in a 2018 interview with GQ that, "The trouble with working with these big studios is they can get uncomfortable about certain creative decisions you make. That happened withPirates." Depp went on to clarify: "Disney hated me. [They were] thinking of every way they could to get rid of me, to fire me."

Clearly, Disney's approach left a lot to be desired, and while Depp signed on forPirates of the Caribbean sequels Saldana questioned whether she would continue in an industry with such allegedly toxic working practices. Thankfully, Saldana stuck around, going on to star as Gamora in the hugely-successful Guardians of the Galaxy a role she has returned to readily across several films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That the MCU andAvatarare both Disney-owned brands doesn't appear to phase Saldana, suggesting that her negative experience working onThe Curse of the Black Pearlwas specific to the company at the time (under then-CEO Michael Eisner), and not reflective of Disney's current workplace culture.While thePirates franchise continued, Saldana remained absent though her character, Anamaria, did go on to appear in various spin-off materials, including a short-lived comic book series and a Lego-themed video game.

After a string of critical failures, and diminishing box-office returns of late, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is in deep water, and reports abound that Disney are attempting to revive the property with fresh blood. Only time will tell whether Zoe Saldanas Anamaria will regain her sea-legs and re-join the franchise, but the actresss ongoing relationship with Disney via Marvel, along with reports that the new Pirates film will be female-driven, certainly lend credence to such a possibility.

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Joe Simpson is a writer, filmmaker, and cynic based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He likes pia coladas, getting caught in the rain, and hates referring to himself in the third person. Alas, them's the breaks.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Why Zoe Saldanas Anamaria Didnt Return - Screen Rant

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