Pirates of the Caribbean: Tales of the Code: Wedlocked was a short film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean film series as the prequel to The Curse of the Black Pearl. The plot took inspiration from the "Auction scene" from the original ride. The short film stars John Vickery (Auctioneer), Vanessa Branch (Giselle), and Lauren Maher (Scarlett). It was directed by James Ward Byrkit, produced by Leora Glass, and written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio.
“Wedlocked” was a labor of love, a short film I directed especially for super-fans of the “Pirates” movies. Knowing we had a small budget and borrowed sets, Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott wrote a script for me that recalled the Pirates ride more than the movies. “Slappers” Vanessa Branch and Lauren Maher turned in leading lady performances that should get them their own tv spinoff.
Beautifully shot by Nic Sadler.
- "Perhaps you've heard of my fiancé?"
[both growl in anger]
"That scoundrel! Thinks he can marry the both of us!"
- ―Giselle and Scarlett[src]
One night, in Shipwreck Cove, Scarlett and Giselle were both getting ready in opposite sides of a mirror in a dressing room. Upon meeting one another, they both reveal that they're both getting ready for their own wedding. Giselle described her groom as having "dreamy eyes" and "speaks fancy words with lots of syllables", while Scarlett revealed her groom as a cap'n known all over the world. However, upon showing off their identical engagement rings, both women realize that their grooms was the same man: Jack Sparrow.
- "Five! I bid five!"
"I'm not...Five? Five?"
"I say that. Five. I have five."
- ―Jerome, Giselle and the Auctioneer[src]
As soon as both women realized that they were deceived by Jack Sparrow, they found themselves curtains open to a crowd of men cheering and shouting. A pirate band played in front of a sign that says "Auction: Take a Wench for a Bride". Scarlett and Giselle look around as wenches fight in the background, until one named "Oona" pops from behind, claiming that this event was the happiest day in a girl's life. The Auctioneer walked in presenting the wenches, including the bewildered Scarlett and Giselle. He started the bids as he gave a flower bouquet to Giselle, the first wench to be bid upon. After an old pirate gave a bid of only five pieces of silver Giselle reacted angrily to being bid for five pieces of silver, Scarlett started to use this for her advantage. To win over Giselle, Scarlett started to smile and showed off as the auction continued. The Marquis D'avis bid twenty pieces for Scarlett, referring to her as the "redhead". Seeing that Scarlett was a very profitable venture, with the bid having gone up to forty, the Auctioneer took the flower bouquet from Giselle and gave it to Scarlett. Soon, the crowd, led by a drunk pirate would start chanting "we want the redhead!"
- "You're not believing the trickery in those locks, are ya?"
"There's no trickery here!"
"Oh, then it must be elsewhere, is that it?"
"Pony up for this one, you'll be scraping a barnacle from the hull for a week!"
- ―Giselle and Scarlett[src]
Seeing that she was going to lose to Scarlett, Giselle started competing with Scarlett for the highest bid. A few pirates gave a bid for Giselle, but Scarlett was able to get the bids in her favor. Some bids later, Giselle stated that she was "egregiously underbid upon", as she was bid for fifteen while Scarlett was bid for sixty. It was then that the Marquis D'avis immediately bid seventy for Scarlett. Scarlett and Giselle soon fought against one another as the men stared and laughed at them. The pirate band's music continued to play as other wenches try to restrain Scarlett, who was biting on Giselle's leg. Giselle hits Scarlett as her leg was continuously bitten until Scarlett looks around as the men stared at the two wenches. After an awkward moment of silence, the crowd of men burst out cheering wildly as the pirate band played another tune as the bidding continued over 200. As the men continued with their bids, Scarlett and Giselle resumed fighting.
Concluding the bid
- "We're rich."
"We have goats."
[Scarlett and Giselle laugh before being shackled by the Auctioneer]
"I...I am rich. I have goats. I regret to inform you that, as facilitator of this transaction, I take in form of commission a fair percentage."
- ―Giselle, Scarlett and the Auctioneer[src]
By the time the bid went up to 400, a group of pirates, led by Atencio, formed a corporation. The Marquis D'avis bid five hundred as Scarlett and Giselle continued fighting, while being restrained by other wenches. As the bid went over 600, a pirate named Nigel bid his goat, which caused Atencio to insert a goat in his bid. The Marquis D'avis made the final bid of seven hundred and two goats, which the Auctioneer gladly accepted.
As Scarlett and Giselle expressed their happiness for being rich and having goats, the Auctioneer corrected them by saying he has the goats as he shackled them together, stating that he owned them in a fair one-hundred percentage. Then an argument began, pirates and wenches alike, on if Scarlett and Giselle were for sale or not, which ended with the Auctioneer stating he traded them fair and square as per the Pirate Code. It was then that the pirate Mungard reminded the pirates that The Code was the law, and "woe to anyone who shows it any disrespect."
Incident on the Code
- "Lock up the Code! Strike the wenches! And if any of ye ever speak a word of this...I'll have your tongue."
"...Aye, sir. Mum's the word."
[squawking] "Mum's the word."
- ―Mungard, Cotton and Cotton's parrot[src]
As all the other pirates wondered what would happen next, Giselle cleared her throat to say something. Giselle asked the Auctioneer if he owned the stocking that she wore or a song she might sing, in which he confirmed undoubtedly. Knowing that the Auctioneer was responsible for her actions, Giselle gave Mungard a hard slap on the face. This caused a stir between the crowd of pirates. Mungard, vowing that the Auctioneer would pay for that, pointed his pistol at the Auctioneer, who then began a toss of the key to Scarlett and Giselle's shackles, the holder of whom Mungard would point his pistol at. The key would go from Nigel, Atencio and the Marquis D'avis, who then tossed the key to the Auctioneer, who was again threatened by Mungard.
A drunk pirate accidentally fired his pistol in the air, causing another stir as the bullet ricochets. The crowd gasped as Mungard turned around with his pistols. Scarlett and Giselle sneak away as the Auctioneer, holding the Code on him, saying that this catastrophe was the doing of one man: Jack Sparrow. Hearing the name Sparrow, Mungard turned around, asking where, as his pistol fired. The wenches screamed as the bullet hit the Code. The Auctioneer, still holding the Code, fell backwards to the ground. Every one of the pirates, including Mungard, stared in shock of what just happened.
The pirates whispered amongst themselves about Mungard having shot the Code, with one of them saying that Captain Teague would have his head. Mungard then ordered the Auctioneer to be taken out of here. A group of men, including the Auctioneer's assistant, helped get the Code off of a dazed Auctioneer, who announced of having a consignment of Peruvian llamas due in a fortnight. Mungard then ordered the Code to be locked up and warned the crowd of pirates that if any of them spoke a word of what occurred, that he would have their tongues. Every pirate stared at each other until Cotton, and his parrot assured Mungard that mum's the word.
- "Next time I see him, I'll be re-acquainting Jack Sparrow with the palm of my hand."
"So will I. Not that I didn't trust Jack, but in case he got cold feet, I thought, perhaps, taking these out of his boat might slow him down a bit."
- ―Giselle and Scarlett[src]
Outside, Scarlett and Giselle made their getaway from Shipwreck Cove, both vowing that the next time they see Jack Sparrow, they'll be "re-acquainting him" with the palm of her hand. Scarlett also revealed that she took out four nails that went on Jack's boat in case he had cold feet on their "wedding". The next day, Jack Sparrow tried to get water out of this boat as he sailed to Port Royal. Meanwhile, the Pirate Code was carried towards a chest, by the Auctioneer's assistant and another pirate. The Code was then closed in the chest.
- John Vickery ... Auctioneer
- Vanessa Branch ... Giselle
- Lauren Maher ... Scarlett
- David Bailie ... Cotton
- Walter Williamson ... The Marquis D'avis, The Rich Pirate
- Fred Maske ... Atencio, The Poor Pirate
- Martin Horsey ... Gregor, The Drunk Pirate
- Jack Donner ... Jerome, The Old Pirate
- Ric Sarabia ... Nigel, The Skinny Pirate
- Barry Cullison ... Slurry Gibson, The Sitting Pirate
- Christopher Rocha ... Mungard
- Dale Dickey ... Oona, The Wench
- Christopher Maxwell ... Dante, The Handsome Pirate
- Lucas Cheadle ... Pirate Band - Upright Bass
- Steven (Stevie) Gurr ... Pirate Band - Guitar
- Norman Panto ... Pirate Band - Accordion
- Joel Pargman ... Pirate Band - Fiddle
- Diana Cignoni ...
- Karla Cook ...
- Nicole Dionne ...
- Roberta Kooistra ...
- Alethea Kutscher ...
- Allison Long ...
- Paula Long ...
- Lindsey Martin ... Wenches
- Adam Allee ...
- Keith Arndt ...
- Frank Bettag ...
- Frank Giarmona ...
- Albert Lund ...
- Omar Mohammed ...
- Cory Montgomery ...
- Dennis O'Neill ...
- Alan Prampin ...
- Greg Reeves ...
- Richard Robertson ...
- Randolph Scott ... Pirates
- Martin Pierron ... Auctioneer Assistant
For character appearances with known portrayers see the "Cast" section.
- Marquis D'avis (First appearance)
- Atencio (First appearance)
- Gregor (First appearance)
- Jerome (First appearance)
- Nigel (First appearance)
- Slurry Gibson (First appearance)
- Mungard (First appearance)
- Oona (First appearance)
- Dante (First appearance)
- Edward Teague (Mentioned only)
- Jack Sparrow
When he worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, James Ward Byrkit worked as a conceptual consultant, helping conceptualize the big action scenes with director Gore Verbinski as well as being on set alot. Seeing the sets that production designer Rick Heinrichs designed for Pirates sequels Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, Verbinski would say, "Somebody give Jim a camera so he can shoot a movie here." Though while marveling the work of Heinrichs' Shipwreck Cove set at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Byrkit told Verbinski that they should shoot a movie here in off hours. And Verbinski said "Go for it!" So Byrkit got Brigham Taylor at Disney interested in the idea for a short film.
For the story of Wedlocked, Byrkit envisioned something based on the Pirate Code Book, because he knew that implied a device that could tie other stories in later. He then went to Pirates writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio and asked if they had an idea for a short about the Code. They thought that Vanessa Branch (Giselle) and Lauren Maher (Scarlett) should have their own story and the three started writing Wedlocked. They quickly working on a concept that would go back to the Pirates ride, something die-hard fans would appreciate, while having a deadline looming in just a few weeks as the needed sets were all scheduled to be demolished then.
Originally, the characters of Giselle and Scarlett were originally not supposed to have speaking parts in the first film The Curse of the Black Pearl, until someone noticed that both Lauren Maher and Vanessa Branch were quite capable actors. Byrkit thought that this was a chance for the wenches to have their own wacky moment, and that it hints at a whole world of possibility between them.
For the two leading roles, Lauren Maher and Vanessa Branch reprised their roles as Scarlett and Giselle. Byrkit said that the best thing about the short was working with those two, He stated that he'd done several previous projects that called for leading women that were both beautiful and funny, but that it was very rare. Vanessa and Lauren turned out to be great actresses, totally committed and game for anything. They were shown that they could be cast as leading women in anything. Byrkit thought the two could have their own series, like a "Lucy-and-Ethel on the high seas. Always getting into absurd situations."
Along with Maher and Branch, John Vickery was cast as the Auctioneer, a character from the original Disney ride. Other notable cast members include Walter Williamson as the Marquis D'avis, Fred Maske as Atencio, Martin Pierron as the Auctioneer Assistant, and Christopher Rocha as Mungard. David Bailie also had a cameo as Cotton, this time having a speaking role.
Making Tales of the Code: Wedlocked allowed Byrkit to display his directorial gifts, as a cast and costumes and sets were speedily assembled on the California Pirates soundstage at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. This passion project had a window of several days. The short film also permits the multi-hypenate filmmaker to engage a creative soul that is part buccaneer, part safecracker. Production would commence in late 2006, with sets that were fresh from shooting the third film At World's End.
In a matter of days, the Wedlocked team assembled a cast, made costumes, built custom set pieces, and work out blocking for 40 actors. The DVD department gave Byrkit some money to scrape together a crew, and renting a 16 mm camera for shooting the short in a matter of days. Costume designer Penny Rose provided new costumes, Kris Peck and the prop department came through where Byrkit could put together just enough resources to pull it off. They had three days to shoot, because the set was destroyed afterwards. Byrkit said he was comfortable with big, sprawling sets and mayhem but that Wedlocked had so little time to make it, saying "it was a race from Day One."
Writer Terry Rossio hinted the possibility of a short film on his website Wordplay, having mentioned James Ward Byrkit's notion of using the set. At the time, it was intended for a "trilogy 'Treasure Chest' DVD." Since then, he had hinted a special edition set, though it had been pushed back a number of times.
Around March 2011, Vanessa Branch teased a Pirates-related project intended to be released in Fall 2011. Despite it being worked on after Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End wrapped filming, around early December 2006, Tales of the Code: Wedlocked wasn't announced until about a month after the release of the fourth film On Stranger Tides. Disney/Buena Vista had announced that the home-video release of On Stranger Tides would include the "Pirates of the Caribbean 15-Disc Collection," a packaging that would have not only the four feature films but also the short film Wedlocked.
Days after the announcement, Wedlocked director James Ward Byrkit would be interview about Wedlocked, detailing on how it came to be and how Disney accepted the project being made. He said the general audience would still have great fun watching the short, but that there was a conscious effort to include lots of details and inside jokes for the truly obsessed fan. Byrkit also said he loved when an invented cinematic world seems big enough to follow other stories outside the main film, stating "Troops" from the Star Wars universe as an example. Byrkit also hoped it succeeded in keeping the fun of the very first Pirates of he Caribbean alive.
- Tales of the Code: Wedlocked was the first Pirates of the Caribbean short film. It was also the first Pirates-related film that wasn't released in theaters.
- There were many proposed titles for the short film. One title, which was used in a later draft of the screenplay, was Tales of the Code: Pirate Belles.
- The first draft featured the wenches trying to impress the very handsome pirate Dante and ending up with him in the end, but he was mostly left out of the final cut.
- While Wedlocked served as a prequel to The Curse of the Black Pearl, it was mainly recalled the Disneyland ride, particularly the auction scene and the characters Auctioneer and Scarlett (based on the Redhead).
- This film does not star Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow), Geoffrey Rush (Hector Barbossa) and Kevin McNally (Joshamee Gibbs). However, the scene with Jack Sparrow and the Jolly Mon from The Curse of the Black Pearl was used for the ending scene of Wedlocked.
- Filming for Wedlocked took place shortly after the filming for At World's End wrapped, at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. It was released in the Pirates of the Caribbean Four Movie Collection.
- The song Pyrate Bryde by Warren Goodlang played during the ending credits. This usage of the song marks Wedlocked as the first Pirates of the Caribbean-related film to not use He's a Pirate in the ending credits.
- The character names Marquis D'avis, Atencio, and Slurry Gibson are tributes to Disney Imagineers who worked on the original ride: Marc Davis, Xavier Atencio, and Blaine Gibson.
Notes and references
- ↑ The Wedlocked ending credits show that the film was copyrighted in 2008. However, unless if it was released unknowingly, Wedlocked was only known to be released in the Pirates of the Caribbean Four Movie Collection, which was released in 2011 with the release of On Stranger Tides.
- ↑ Wedlocked - Jim Byrkit Director
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 As a creative renaissance man, writer-director James Ward Byrkit brings ‘RANGO’ and ‘PIRATES’ film to your screen
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 POTC Interview with Jim Byrkit 2012
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Wordplayer.com: WORDPLAY/Archives/"Ends of the Earth" by Terry Rossio
- ↑ Wait - Scripts message board - Wordplayer.com
- ↑ VANESSA BRANCH on "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"