Keira Knightley thought the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie would be a failure

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl star Keira Knightley believed the film would fail. Based on the Walt Disney World ride, the first Pirates of the Caribbean The film was released in 2003, telling the story of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) who tries to recover his ship, the Black Pearl, from a group of enemy pirates. Knightley’s Swann becomes involved in the story when these same pirates kidnap her, prompting Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner to go after her. The first film was a huge box office success and ended up spawning four sequels.

During Laughter and the Secrets of Love: 20 Years Later – A Diane Sawyer Special (through ET🇧🇷 love in truth writer-director Richard Curtis remembers that Knightley, who appears in his film as Juliet, told him that he didn’t think the first Pirates of the Caribbean was going to be successful. According to Curtis, Knightley thought the film would fail because it was about pirates. Check out Curtis’ recollection of the conversation below:

“I remember sitting down with Keira while we were filming and saying, ‘What are you going to do next?’ And she said, ‘I don’t think it’s going to work. It’s a bootleg movie and they always fail.’”

Why Pirates of the Caribbean became a successful franchise

Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and other pirates face off on the beach in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Despite Knightley’s reservations, the first Pirates of the Caribbean the film would go on to earn over $654 million at the box office. Subsequent entries would yield even more, with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest standing as the franchise’s highest grossing at $1.06 billion. Gore Verbinski’s pirate adventure film was aimed at audiences of all ages and featured loads of humor and even more action, with interesting lore and mythology also incorporated into the story. The colorful main characters of Pirates of the Caribbean, however, were the biggest reason for the film and the franchise’s success.

While the love story between Knightley and Bloom’s characters serves as the emotional core of the first three films, it’s really Depp’s Sparrow that is the most memorable aspect of the franchise. Depp brought a strange and unique energy to the role of Sparrow, playing the character as if he were constantly drunk. In addition to being the source of much of the franchise’s humor, Depp’s character is also capable of holding his own in a fight, taking on villains like Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Pirates of the CaribbeanThe villains of were also very well realized, with Barbossa serving as a formidable foe before his eventual transformation into an antihero in later installments, and Jones still representing the franchise’s standout when it comes to antagonists.

What the last two installments make abundantly clear is that it’s the chemistry between Depp, Knightley and Bloom introduced in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl it makes the whole franchise work. The first three films are generally considered the best in the franchise, but the fourth and fifth fell far short of fans’ expectations, largely due to Elizabeth and Will being absent from the story entirely or playing minor roles. Though Knightley may have second thoughts about joining Disney’s pirate-themed franchise🇧🇷 many fans are no doubt happy that she decided to stick with the project.

Source: The Laugher & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later – A Diane Sawyer Special (via ET)

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