Despite shedding many characters and even the director of previous three installments, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides still starred Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and, as such, grossed over a billion dollars globally. So it was never a question whether we'd see another Disney adventure ostensibly based on the stupendous Disneyland attraction. Rather, the question is when Pirates of the Caribbean 5 will arrive and what it'll be like when it does.
No news on the first count, but on the second, we now know that Jeff Nathanson is writing the screenplay.
While we've been hearing casting announcements for characters large and small on next year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, official word on the biggest new player has not been forthcoming. Well that changed today, as Lionsgate has announces that Sam Claflin is all set to play Finnick Odair in the sequel.
Anybody anxiously waiting to see Johnny Depp and an as-yet uncast actress lousing it up as Nick and Nora Charles in a remake of The Thin Man is going to have to wait a bit longer. Depp's been attached to the remake at Warner Bros. for well over a year, and he even brought a familiar director on board, but after months of development, the studio has gently break-checked The Thin Man, delaying the movie for a little while.
Opening in theaters on June 1st is the highly anticipated new film Snow White and the Huntsman, which is a "Lord of the Rings-style" retelling of the classic fairy tale. The film was helmed by first time director Rupert Sanders and stars Twilight's Kristen Stewart in the title role. In addition to Stewart, the movie features an all-star cast that includes Oscar-winner Charlize Theron (Young Adult), Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers), and Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), as well as Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger), Ray Winstone (Edge of Darkness), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) and Nick Frost (Attack the Block) as the Dwarves.
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had a chance to sit down with Sam Claflin at the London Hotel in Los Angeles to discuss his work on Snow White and the Huntsman. The actor talked about the new film, his initial reaction to the script, how he got cast in the film, changes that he made to his character, the rivalry between Prince William and the Huntsman, William's love for Snow White, working with both Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, collaborating with director Rupert Sanders, archery training, and the movie's stunning visual effects.
You might not know him by name, but you would definitely recognize actor Greg Ellis if you saw his face. Ellis has appeared on dozens of popular television shows such as X-Files, Nip/Tuck, Trust Me, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and season three of 24 as biological weapons dealer Michael Amador. He’s also had roles in several successful feature films including the Academy Award-winning Titanic, Beowulf, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek where the actor had the honor of being the new franchise’s first official “red shirt” (a stock character who dies soon after being introduced). But Ellis is best known for his role as Lieutenant Theodore Groves in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, including last summer’s mega-hit Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
Ellis first played Groves in the original Pirates movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and while he did not appear in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, he did return to the series for the third chapter, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. But the actor’s largest role in the series came with the most recent edition to the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In the film, Groves is promoted to Lieutenant Commander while working with Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) aboard the H.M.S. Providence to find the Fountain of Youth. He aids Barbossa and Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) on their quest to find the Fountain and claims it for the British Empire before ultimately battling Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and the Spaniards.
I recently had a chance to speak with actor Greg Ellis about Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The actor spoke candidly with me about the film, his character’s evolution, playing sidekick to Geoffrey Rush’s Barbossa, the differences between working with the film’s director Rob Marshall and former Pirates director Gore Verbinski, his reaction the first time he saw Johnny Depp play Jack Sparrow, playing the first “red shirt” in Star Trek, and the loophole that J.J. Abrams has come up with so that Ellis can possibly appear in Star Trek 2.
As an audience, we're grown increasingly jaded regarding visual effects in our modern blockbusters. The sheer number of blockbuster movies with show-stopping visual effects sequences has given us a shorthand, an easy and often unconscious understanding of what works and what doesn't. The arrival of every new huge spectacular movie brings with it the expectation that the figurative bar will be raised, particularly when that would-be blockbuster is the latest installment in a franchise known for its envelope-pushing digital creations.
Such was the case for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in a franchise that has included undead pirates, fish-men, massive maritime battles, and even an ocean goddess. For the first film in the series not directed by Gore Verbinski, the story saw the introduction of zombies, and more importantly, some truly memorably mermaids. Aaron McBride has been crucial to the visual effects on all four Pirates films, serving as the art director on the first three and visual effects art director for On Stranger Tides.
In his time at Industrial Light and Magic, McBride has built up a resume that includes the likes of Minority Report, Iron Man, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. In a roundtable interview with entertainment writers from around the world promoting tomorrow's release of Pirates of Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, McBride discussed the unique challenges and accomplishments of the sequel. It's an interview that sheds some light on the intricacies involved in creating those visual effects that often flash by in no time at all.
Johnny Depp has been set on starring as Nick Charles – one half of the husband-and-wife investigating duo Nick and Nora Charles – in a remake of The Thin Man for roundabouts a year now. Having proven that he and Depp are a billion dollar combination, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides helmer Rob Marshall is officially set to direct the new tale. The movie will be based, probably quite loosely, on the novel by noir-master Dashiel Hammett, but the film has experienced some turbulence in the screenwriting department, with two writers proving to be non-starters. Now, though, The Thin Man has a new writer in the form of Billy Ray.
The 1934 film The Thin Man, based on the novel of the same name by the inimitable noir novelist Dashiell Hammett, spawned a hugely popular franchise with five sequels starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, a husband-and-wife investigatorial team known for their witty verbal repartee and also for being extremely high-functioning alcoholics. None other than international movie star Johnny Depp has been attached to star as Nick Charles in a big budget The Thin Man remake with Rob Marshall directing, and now the project has a new screenwriter with no shortage of blockbuster bona-fides: David Koepp.
Almost a decade ago in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow was a swishingly effeminate wild-card sidekick to the squeaky-clean romantic lead played by Orlando Bloom. As the most popular and indispensable element of the franchise, Sparrow's prominence increased in successive entries, finally just taking over as protagonist in this summer's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. With On Stranger Tides grossing over a billion dollars worldwide, the already-inevitable fifth and (probably) sixth installments are now even more inevitable. A new rumor suggests that for the future of the series, Depp, who by now has a major creative role in the films, wants British comedian Russell Brand to play an even more swishingly effeminate sidekick for erstwhile supporting player Sparrow.
What could possibly be American enough to accompany this Fourth of July weekend's ceaseless summer revelries of barbecues, cheap domestic beer, and swimming in heavily chlorinated pools? How about GM and Chevy cars that turn into collateral-damage-causing robots in an explode-tacular orgy of visual effects that also includes a Victoria's Secret model sweating out an alien invasion in five-inch heels? Since Friday, Transformers: Dark of the Moon has pulled in an estimated $97.5 million, allowing it to unseat Spider-Man 2 as the record-holder for this particular holiday weekend. Not only that, but it grabbed a few other records as well.