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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide

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Complete Visual Guide
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide

Richard Platt and Glenn Dakin

Publication information:

Dorling Kindersley


April 9, 2007

Media type







Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide is a reference book containing images and information relating to the Pirates of the Caribbean series. It is an expanded edition of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide, updated for all three films. The book was written by Richard Platt and Glenn Dakin and published by Dorling Kindersley on April 9, 2007. It includes a poster of the cutaways of the Black Pearl and the Empress, allowing "The Life Below Deck" section to be reduced to a two-page spread.

The book was followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide, containing all material based around Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Product description

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide is packed with exciting stills from the movies and images of numerous props - from cutlasses to treasure chests. Contains spectacular Disney illustrations of Cannibal Island, the Flying Dutchman, the eerie Bayou swamp and Singapore's bustling harbour, plus a detachable double-sided poster featuring cut-away illustrations of the Black Pearl and Sao Feng's junk boat the Empress. The guide provides readers with a fascinating insight to all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies - with in-depth details about all the main characters, the magnificent ships and exotic locations.

Foreword by Jerry Bruckheimer

I was young, in love with movies, and my eyes were glued to the screen, mesmerized, watching the daring, exciting, funny and acrobatic exploits of The Crimson Pirate, played by the great Burt Lancaster. Freewheeling, rebellious, unafraid to defy authority at every turn, the wind at your back and your ship pointed directly toward the freedom of the seven seas...what could be more fun than being a pirate...or at least being a pirate in the movies? I certainly had my favorite pirate films as a kid, including Captain Blood, The Black Pirate, and Treasure Island, all of them classics of swashbuckling and skullduggery.

And then, suddenly, the world moved toward a new century, pirate movies went away. Vanished. Nobody cared any more, the skull and crossbones disappeared from the big screen. In a world of high-speed and hip-hop, the adventures of the 18th century buccaneers had lost their relevancy...or had they?

At Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as well as other Disney parks around the world, the mid-1960s attraction known as "Pirates of the Caribbean" had been drawing throngs since its opening, first as a miraculous leap of technology, and then as a nostalgic ride through the memories of grown-ups, and the imagination of their children. And when Walt Disney Studios asked me to find a way to translate the fun ride into a two-hour-plus feature film extravaganza, nothing could have excited me more.

My dream of making a motion picture about pirates was about to come true. And the popularity of the movie that finally emerged in 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, not only fulfilled my hopes, but exceeded them. And thankfully, audiences around the world seemed to agree that we had not only breathed new life into a dead genre, but had actually reinvented it.

We wanted to take the pirate genre to a new level, one that had all the thrills and romance that you would expect from a big adventure, but with imaginative, unforgettable characters, state-of-the-art visual effects and a tip of the hat to the original Disneyland attraction, while taking off in whole new directions. Our director, Gore Verbinski, has a wonderful sense of humor and great storytelling skills. His enthusiasm is like a little kid's. He loves to work with actors, and actors love him. He was the perfect director for the project. As writers, we brought in the team of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio—two wonderful writers who created a big hit with Shrek—to put our stamp on a draft by Jay Wolpert and Stuart Beattie which Disney first handed over to us. Ted and Terry brought in the element of the supernatural laced with lots of humor, which gave the story an edge that really interested me.

Then we had our stars, and it soon became clear after the film was released that Johnny Depp had created a brand-new, authentic motion picture icon with his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. Johnny's known for creating his own characters, and he had a definite vision for Jack Sparrow which was completely unique. We just let him go and he came up with this off-center, yet very shrewd pirate, with his dreadlocks, gold teeth and grand assortment of ornamental beads and charms. He can't quite hold his balance, his speech is a bit slurred, so you assume he's either drunk, seasick or he's been on a ship too long. But it's all an act perpetrated for effect. And strange as it seems, it's also part of Captain Jack's charm. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences certainly thought so, honoring Johnny with an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. We cast Orlando Bloom as Will Turner after he appeared in another of my productions, Black Hawk Down. I knew Orlando's time would come. I just didn't know how lucky we'd be to grab him before all the frenzy started with the Lord of the Rings films. We considered many young actresses for the role of Elizabeth Swann, but beauty alone was not enough. With Keira Knightley, who was then 17-years-old, we found beauty, brains, and boldness, a great combination.

Millions of people from 8 to 80 took the ride with us, and clearly, they wanted more. So we created Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and now Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, reuniting nearly the whole gang from the first film, with several exciting new additions as well. Gore is back, as are Ted and Terry, and of course Johnny, Orlando, Keira and much of the supporting cast. But we weren't interested in just doing a re-tread. Instead, everything in the first film gets pushed forward in Dead Man's Chest, and is pushed even further in At World's End. We love these characters and want to see what happens with them, deepening the characterizations and continuing the story. Much of the backdrop of Dead Man's Chest and At World's End is based on pirate lore, and the mythology of the seven seas, using elements of the 18th century British history as a springboard. We have an astonishing villain with Davy Jones, who along with his crew is unlike anything that's been seen before, as well as the power-mad English aristocrat Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company.

Our production designer, an amazing creative individual named Rick Heinrichs, has added so many wonderful nuances to Dead Man's Chest, including epic-sized sets, a re-designed and re-built Black Pearl, and Flying Dutchman, Davy Jones' fantastic mystery ship. And we've filmed, appropriate to our films' title, in some of the most exotic locations in all the Caribbean, including the rugged tropical paradise islands of Dominica and St. Vincent, and on the islands and turquoise oceans of the Bahamas.

This new DK book is a wonderful entry into the world of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, and At World's End, filled with pictures, illustrations and loaded with information about all three films. Like the original Disneyland "Pirates of the Caribbean," we've tried to make our movies an "E" ticket attraction which everyone can ride together. So step aboard, mates, and sail off with us once again under the flag of adventure and imagination as limitless as the sea that stretches all the way to the far horizon. Keelhauling and walking the plank are definitely forbidden on this voyage!


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