The fractious libel case between Depp and a tabloid newspaper has seen nearly 300,000 fans petition for his return to the Pirates of the franchise. However, in my opinion, it’s not Depp that the series needs; it’s .
Verbinski directed the first three Pirates movies; of The , , and At .
But why do I think Pirates needs right now?
The Pirates franchise has flailed since Verbinski left
It’s not particularly controversial to say that movies have lost their mojo since Verbinski left the franchise. Both On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales saw mediocre reviews and many reviewers felt that the franchise had lost its mojo.
If you go back and watch of the you’ll see a that feels completely different to POTC five. It’s full of , energy, little quips, and most of all; a sense of dramatic identity. The newer films feel a lot more like cash grabs, while Verbinski’s trilogy focuses on .
Jack Sparrow feels like a human being in the first and he’s only more fleshed out in and At . He makes genuine human decisions that make sense for his character. He betrays Will, but ultimately saves him at the cost of his own immortality. In a deleted scene in At World’s End, he even reveals that he was hunted by the East India company for freeing a ship full of slaves (why Disney removed this fantastic bit of character development, I’ll never know). These films expand on the conflict of the first while maintaining a semi-serious tone that puts drama ahead of comedy.
Both movies also performed super well, with At having the of any in 2007. Verbinski is may be known these days for his psychological thriller A Cure for Wellness (and his many music videos), but he can absolutely pull in an audience.
has become a crutch for the series
Look at any article about Depp’s fall from grace and you’ll see countless comments that read ‘there is no Pirates of the Depp‘. And yep, in its current form, that’s 100% true. That’s because has treated it more like a cash cow than a carefully curated franchise with real characters and a flowing narrative. without
It’s not exactly comparable, but if Pirates had been shown the same level of creative direction that Marvel – gives the MCU, I don’t think people would say the series wouldn’t work without Depp.
As it stands, has made Jack the main . Though you can argue this has been the case since At and , ‘s well-written romantic leads still had just as much to do as Depp’s swaggering captain in these films. He understood that Jack just doesn’t work when he’s the focus. He needs to play off a Will and Elizabeth pair or he just becomes a goofball.
However, the biggest problem with the current movies is tone. Save a few serious moments, the series has just become too silly. The Pirates of the movies originally felt raw, dark, and gritty, just like the ride. Ok, so they weren’t exactly Saving Private Ryan, but they definitely felt a little more adult. I remember being a kid and being thrilled and even scared when watching of the . We need that edge back.
So how would getting back help?
It’s my opinion that Verbinski should direct the next Pirates of the . He’s a with a proven track record in making hits that actually have substance.
However, most importantly, he’d bring a heart back to the Margot Robbie as the lead) it should bring back Verbinski to make these movies exciting again. series. And I’m not talking about the heart of Davy Jones. It is to proceed without Depp (and with
He could remove all but a few references to and characters from the past movies and make a The of the taught us that. that is self-contained and small-scale. Not every p has to deal with the end of the world;
Furthermore, his work in the genre gave the first its welcome edge. I’d like to see dark imagery like zombie pirates make a return in the future. Let’s give kids something a little bolder; something that they’ll be daring each other to go and see.
Most of all, I’d love to see Pirates go back to being a whimsical, swashbuckling adventure with genuine depth, instead of the silly mess of ideas it’s become.
Whether that’s with or without Depp, one thing’s for sure; it should be with Verbinski.
Shouldbring back for the next Pirates ? Let us know in the comments below!