The Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland and Disney World is a fun time: Jack Sparrow is there, planning another one of his escapades amongst scenes that are half new and half a collection of greatest hits from the movies. One of these original scenes, the “Wench Auction” will no longer be a part of the ride, Disney Parks announced today. Instead, it will be replaced with something way less uncomfortable and, hopefully, more entertaining.
The moment a Hollywood franchise jumps the shark is kind of a mixed blessing. Take the Pirates of the Caribbean films, for example. While the latest entry in the franchise — Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — has received a good going-over by the critics, more than a few have taken this as an opportunity to revisit the success of the original film. On paper, absolutely nothing about Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl should’ve worked, and yet, here we are, 14 years and three-point-five billion dollars later, still remembering how it took us all by surprise.
Is Johnny Depp somehow Johnny Depp-proof? With the early receipts for the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise now promising another blockbuster in the bag, it would appear that the actor’s somehow invulnerable to his own noxious public profile. Though the revelation that he had physically abused longtime partner Amber Heard came to light last year, it apparently hasn’t diminished his earning potential, and frustrating as that may be, it means we’re in for a whole lot more Depp. And if producer Jerry Bruckheimer has anything to say about, more Jack Sparrow in specific.
Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most popular franchises of all time, and yet only one out of its four movies are remembered in a positive light. Gore Verbinski’s The Curse of the Black Pearl was a throwback to old school popcorn blockbusters, a family-friendly adventure full of expertly choreographed action, led by a rebellious hero with some romance. The original hit led to three sequels that broke multiple box office records for the Disney property, yet the Pirates franchise only soured in the mouths of critics.
It would seem that there are two stages every iconic musician must got through in the twilight of their career: induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a guest spot in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Such was the case with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who — in a nod to Johnny Depp’s appropriation of elements of his persona — appeared in two films as the father of Jack Sparrow. And now the franchise has pulled in another iconic musician, with Beatles legend Paul McCartney sharing his slightly foppish character.