Disney kicked off the summer movie season on Thursday night with the premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the fifth installment in the venerable franchise. Hundreds of fans dressed up in pirates outfits for the occasion, straining for a glimpse of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom as they walked the carpet.
“I love the whole franchise,” said Linda Flores, a fan who had already seen the new film twice and was eager for a third viewing. “I like to see Johnny Depp — he signed my hat.”
Joachim Rønning, one of the film’s two directors, said he studied the first installment and sought to work in the tradition of adventure movies he loved as a kid.
“I think it was important for us to try to analyze why we love it so much,” Rønning said. “Of course it has the adventure, the spectacle, and comedy. It scares you. I think first of all, it has heart. And that was very important for us, going into the fifth installment, to really create a strong emotional core for the audience to be able to identify with this, because it is a lot going on — that’s what I’m hoping that we have achieved.”
The film takes advantage of advances in VFX technology to depict a young Jack Sparrow.
“That was something we pitched very early on, creating some sort of an origin story for him,” Rønning said. “We shot it with Johnny, actually, and then they spent a year in the computer making him ‘21 Jump Street’ Johnny.”
Kevin McNally, the actor who plays Gibbs in the films, said the six-year gap between the previous film, “On Stranger Tides,” and “Dead Men Tell No Tales” was largely due to scheduling conflicts.
“Obviously it’s really hard getting all the talent in one place. It’s like herding cats,” he said. “It’s the longest gap we’ve had. I think when you get to a fifth movie, you want to get people hungry again. It’s good we left it this long.”
As to whether there will be a sixth “Pirates” movie, producer Jerry Bruckheimer said it’s up to the fans.
“If they show up for this one and Johnny wants to do another one and Disney wants to write a check, we’ll be there,” Bruckheimer said.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” bows on May 26.
Watch an interview with co-director Espen Sandberg below.