While filming in London in October 2010, Johnny Depp received a letter from a local nine-year old schoolgirl, telling him her classmates needed help to "mutiny" against her teachers. He turned up with almost no warning at the school in full Captain Jack Sparrow outfit, but advised against mutiny.
During filming in London, a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator just walked onto the set. The guards did not think to ask for any ID, as he looked so much like the character (as reported in the English papers).
Penélope Cruz was pregnant throughout production, but it wasn't noticeable until September 2010. As Penélope's baby bump grew, it caused difficulties in wardrobe, so the producers enlisted the help of Cruz's younger sister, Mónica. According to reports, Penélope filmed the close-up shots, while Mónica doubled for her in the long-distance scenes.
Johnny Depp bought new water proof jackets for five hundred crew members on the set, to protect them from the cold weather. He spent a total of sixty-four thousand two hundred dollars from his own pocket.
After Walt Disney's chairman of thirty-eight years, Dick Cook was fired, Johnny Depp talked to the Los Angeles Times, and said his enthusiasm for the fourth Pirates movie had reduced after Cook left the project. "There's a fissure, a crack in my enthusiasm at the moment", Depp said. "It was all born in that office." One of the reasons Johnny Depp committed to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), was because he trusted Cook, who supported him while "others at the studio were less than enthusiastic about my interpretation of the character, Dick was there from the first moment. He trusted me."
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer gave strict instructions to casting directors that actresses auditioning for the mermaid roles must have natural breasts. He explained: "I don't think they had breast augmentation in the 1700s, so it's natural for casting people to say, 'We want real people.'"
Penélope Cruz was the only choice for the role of Angelica. She agreed to the role without reading the script.
This movie makes a reference to Blackbeard's historical death, in which he was beheaded and then had his head hung from the bow of his own ship.
The real-life pirate Blackbeard did have a ship called the Queen Anne's Revenge. It was a vessel that he'd captured from the French Navy, and renamed.
Johnny Depp said he agreed to star in this movie before "there was a script or anything."
The outdoor entrance to the Fountain of Youth is the Waikapala'e Wet Cave on the north shore of Kauai. Analogous to this movie's magical watery passage to the Fountain of Youth, the cave holds a real submerged (depending on water level) passage, through which explorers can travel, in order to reach an isolated chamber known as "The Blue Room". Some Hawaiians tell of an actual pirate treasure found hidden in "The Blue Room" by the original discoverers. The pirate treasure (if it ever existed) is gone, but the cave and chamber remain a natural treasure, still accessible to intrepid explorers.
When making Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), the scriptwriters revealed that they placed the story in a thirty-year environment set loosely between 1720 and 1750. They also said that they did not intend the movies to be entirely historically accurate. However, it was revealed that this movie takes place in 1750.
(At around one hour and twenty-three minutes) As Jack enters the Santiago, the camera flashes to a skeletal Ponce de León lying on a bed, surrounded by treasure. This is a reference to the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland where guests see a skeletal pirate lying in bed surrounded by treasure.
(At around one hour and twelve minutes) The snake in the jungle scene is a king snake, and references the rhyme about coral snakes. Red on yellow kill a fellow, red on black friend of Jack.
The name of "Syrena" means "mermaid" in Spanish (spelled "sirena"). The origin of "Syrena" is Greek, from Homer's epic Odyssey. The songs of "syrenas" used to lure sailors to their island, where they were killed.
(At around eighteen minutes) The pub where the Captain Jack Sparrow imposter is recruiting a crew for "his" ship, is called "The Captain's Daughter". This could foreshadow that Angelica is, in fact, Captain Blackbeard's daughter.
The budget had to be scaled down to no more than two hundred million dollars (the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) budget was three hundred million dollars). This was mandated by Studio President Rich Ross (who replaced the fired Dick Cook), in addition to the then 2008 economic slowdown in the U.S.
This was the first movie to be released in the 4DX format in Mexico and in the Western Hemisphere, which is only available at selected Cinépolis theaters. 4DX features strobe lights, tilting seats, blowing wind and fog, and odor effects.
Blackbeard's (Ian McShane's) ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, was actually a modified version of the Black Pearl, one of the vital ships in the film franchise. The Sunset, as it is called in real-life, was used in the latter two parts of the first three, and in 2010 redesigned to portray the Queen Anne's Revenge in this installment. The biggest change was above deck. The back was cut off to deck level, and rebuilt again in two stories.
(At around forty-eight minutes) Blackbeard (Ian McShane) says that his quartermaster sees things before they happen. This is an oblique reference to the character of Fedallah in the novel Moby Dick, the source of various prophecies about the death of his Captain.
Head of Production Oren Aviv said Disney had chosen to scale this movie down from the former in the franchise; "It's important to get the story right and it's important to me to scale it down, because we can't get bigger. The movies have subsequently gotten bigger and bigger and very complicated and they were satisfying on so many levels obviously, but I want to kind of reboot the whole thing and bring it down to its core, its essence, just characters." He agreed that there is a lot of Captain Jack Sparrow's backstory that we haven't seen yet without confirming or denying that we might see some of that in this movie.
As of December 2019, this installment has the second shortest run-time of the franchise, at two hours and sixteen minutes.
This movie was loosely based on the 1988 pirate novel "On Stranger Tides", by Tim Powers. The novel's protagonist is a pirate named Jack, but his character is significantly different from Captain Jack Sparrow.
Was denied a release in China because the storyline consisted of ghosts, the afterlife, and the supernatural.
(At around fifty-one minutes) As in the previous "Pirates" movies, Captain Hector Barbossa's (Geoffrey Rush's) penchant for apples is glimpsed in this one as well. This time, he treats himself to an apple wedge at his Captain's table aboard the Providence.
Johnny Depp and Keith Richards tried to persuade Mick Jagger to audition for the part of a pirate elder.
(At around twenty-nine minutes) During the mutiny, Angelica (Penélope Cruz) said to Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp): "¡Desgraciado! ¡Para, ven aquí o te arranco la cabeza!" In Spanish, it translates to: "Unfortunate! Stop, come here or I'll tear your head off!"
Only Pirates of the Caribbean movie not to feature Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley.
The title was revealed by Johnny Depp, in character as Captain Jack Sparrow, at Disney's D23 Expo on September 11, 2009.
Captain Hector Barbossa's (Geoffrey Rush's) ship, the Providence, was portrayed by H.M.S. Surprise, part of the collection of ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, where it is open daily to Museum visitors. To sail the ship during filming, Disney hired a crew from among volunteers and staff of the Maritime Museum. Surprise is a one hundred seventy-nine foot, fully rigged ship. She was built in Nova Scotia in 1970, from original Admiralty plans for the 1757 British twenty-four-gun frigate H.M.S. Rose, for which she was originally named. The ship was purchased in 2001 by Twentieth Century Fox, and modified to serve as H.M.S. Surprise, under the command of fictional Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). The Maritime Museum of San Diego purchased the ship from Fox Studios in 2004, and retained her movie name. In both of her names, the prefix "H.M.S." (meaning His (or Her) Majesty's Ship) is an honorary, rather than an official designation, since she does not hold a royal warrant.
At the request of Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Kahn did some editing work on the first three months of production, but had to leave due to commitments to Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and War Horse (2011). He was uncredited.
Johnny Depp recommended Stephen Graham, who worked with him in Public Enemies (2009), to play Scrum and Richard Griffiths for the role of King George II, as Depp was a fan of Griffiths' work on Withnail & I (1987).
Disney's Head of Production Oren Aviv said that this would "hopefully be the first of another trilogy."
In May 2010, Disney announced that this movie will be filmed using 3-D cameras. The visual effects, however, will be rendered in 2-D, then converted to 3-D to keep the budget lower.
Penélope Cruz (Angelica) is married to Javier Bardem, who appeared as the antagonist, Captain Salazar, in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). Bardem was previously considered to play Blackbeard for this movie.
Director Rob Marshall invited Spanish-French actress Astrid Bergès-Frisbey to play Syrena after seeing her in a French magazine article on up-and-coming actresses.
(At around four minutes) Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) impersonates a judge under the name "Smith" in order to save Gibbs (Kevin McNally) from being sentenced to death. In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Jack also began the movie under the fake name "Smith" as he pays to dock his sinking boat and talks about the Black Pearl.
According to Director Rob Marshall, Ian McShane was chosen because "he can play something evil, but there's always humor behind it as well" and McShane accepted the job due to both the "very funny and charming" script, and the opportunity to work with Marshall.
Blackbeard's beard took one hour and a half to get applied, and Ian McShane likened the character's costume to "a real biker pirate - it's all black leather."
Astrid Bergès-Frisbey had to take lessons of English, swimming and breath control to play Syrena.
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is the twelfth highest grossing franchise ever.
Johnny Depp was deeply involved with the story design, frequently meeting the writers to show what he was interested in doing, and in the words of Terry Rossio, being "involved in coming up with storylines, connecting characters, creating moments that we would then fashion, shape, and then go back." Amongst Depp's suggestions were turning Phillip into a missionary and having a Spanish contingent following the protagonists. Afterwards, Director Rob Marshall and Executive Producer John DeLuca met the writers, and did alterations of their own, including building the female lead.
Sam Claflin (Phillip) and Ian McShane (Blackbeard) had appeared in The Pillars of the Earth (2010).
The only film in the franchise in which Jack Sparrow doesn't build nor commands a ship.
The Fountain of Youth set, according to John Myhre, is based on various ancient gardens from Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Japan.
The first time we see Jack Sparrow working on a ship as part of the crew instead of as Captain.
(At around forty-one minutes) When Phillip is tied up to the mast, a pirate says to him, "Either you're with us, or against us." - echoing former President George W. Bush's quote in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, that phrase has been used numerous times throughout world history.
On August 1, 2009, Bill Nighy expressed his desire to return as Davy Jones, who died in the previous movie, saying the possibility to resurrect the character, but at the end, his inclusion was scrapped.
John Myhre designed the Queen Anne's Revenge ship based on the Palace of Versailles (a baroque, rich, and elegant residence) and the Sedlec Ossuary (a cathedral that uses skeleton/bone decorations).
Ian McShane, Anton Lesser, Roger Allam, and Deobia Oparei appeared on Game of Thrones (2011).
(At around fifty minutes) After Blackbeard practices voodoo on Captain Jack Sparrow, it can be seen that a wound has been marked on his skin. Although some say it is the "Trident of Poseidon", there are similarities to think that it is rather a tribute to Quake (1996) by some artist of the team.
A stand alone sequel, the events of the previous movies are never mentioned, but only get a few references.
This movie employed one thousand one hundred twelve shots of computer graphics imagery, which were done by ten visual effects companies.
Óscar Jaenada was picked for his work in The Losers (2010) and a recommendation by Penélope Cruz.
The Spanish king (portrayed by Sebastian Armesto), who also seeks the Fountain of Youth, is Ferdinand VI, whose reign witnessed the modernization of the Spanish Navy.
The mermaid portrayers were chosen for having "exotic sense, an otherworldly sensibility, but also under those layers a deadly quality", according to Director Rob Marshall, and had to take swimming lessons to learn movements such as the dolphin and eggbeater kicks.
Production costs ballooned the budget to four hundred ten million dollars. This movie is currently regarded as the most expensive movie ever made. However, it went on to earn just over one billion dollars worldwide.
Blackbeard is the only main antagonist of the franchise that does not appear, nor is resurrected in the next movie.