In Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his accomplices face new enemies: the fearsome Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his ghost crew. The latter escaped from the Devil’s Triangle in order to annihilate all the buccaneers scouring the 7 seas. The hero’s only hope for survival is to find Poseidon’s legendary Trident. This artifact grants the one who holds it all power over the seas and oceans.
Released in 2017, the film was a long-running project launched by Disney; the firm had even announced the start of construction of this opus before the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: the Fountain of Youth, the previous part, which was a huge success in theaters with $ 1.045 billion in revenue at the global Box Office.
It is little to say that the production of the 5th part of Jack Sparrow’s adventures was Homeric and complicated, and from the beginning for that matter. Rob Marshall’s categorical refusal to return to directing, already; particularly laborious writing of the script, then, as an appetizer. On the spot, in Australia, complaints from animal associations, concerned the importation of small primates to embody the Barbossa monkey. Burst on the set of a man disguised as a pirate, threatening a security guard with a knife.
AN ERRATIC JOHNNY DEPP
And Johnny Depp of course. Wounded in the hand, the actor was forced to return home to undergo surgery to have a pin placed on his finger. Filming was suspended for several weeks, putting 200 people on layoff while filming resumed.
Once recovered, Depp was reportedly constantly “drunk, alcoholic and unmanageable,” according to members of the technical team. The actor would have disturbed the smooth running of the shooting with his completely erratic behavior. He seemed to be very often late, forcing the team to wait for hours.
To the point that the production had sent a member of the team in hiding in front of the actor’s caravan, in an unmarked car, to watch for the precise moment when Depp emerged. And send the signal to the rest of the crew on set to be ready when Depp shows up…
The story is also abundantly nourished in this article in the Hollywood Reporter. “When he got up and turned on the light, that was the signal. The producers called the directors and let them go: “He’s standing! He’s getting ready!” There was even a “coded” word to evoke Depp’s late and problematic routine, such as “the eagle flew away. Johnny had no idea what was going on around him.” Surrealist.
Depp’s cumulative delays and alcoholism problem reportedly led to a heavy-handed gun battle between Jerry Bruckheimer, the film’s producer, and Depp’s agent, Tracey Jacobs, who was fired in 2016. “You have to do something, you’re the producer!” Jacobs reportedly told Bruckheimer. Who would have replied: “You are his agent, it’s up to you to do something!” Good atmosphere.
When Depp finally showed up on set, “he was quite charming. In fact, it was Yin and Yang. No one should underestimate Johnny Depp’s devotion and commitment to his role and the franchise,” said producer Scott Bailey.
MARITAL SETBACKS AND EXPENSIVE LIFESTYLE
The problems and the erratic behavior of the actor are also explained by the fact that the actor was already in turmoil for a while, with his marital setbacks with Amber Heard, from whom he has been separated since 2016, and which still continue on the judicial field.
An element of explanation delivered a posteriori also gives an interesting light on this period. The tea towel was already burning between the actor and the former company responsible for his interests. In January 2017, he decided to sue The Management Group (TMG) for $25 million, accusing his former managers of mismanaging his finances, committing loans without his consent, and driving him to the brink of ruin.
In a cross-complaint, TMG pointed out the comedian’s ruinous lifestyle, claiming that it was the cause of his financial difficulties and saying it had tried many times to make him hear reason. And to gin like a rosary the sumptuous expenses of Depp. For 20 years, he had been spending $2 million a month; had spent $75 million to buy 14 homes, several residences in Hollywood, an $18 million yacht, and 45 luxury cars.
The complaint filed by TMG’s lawyer, Michael Kump, against Depp, included this rather devastating anecdote: for years, he had not learned his texts at all, including the Pirates of the Caribbean saga. “The actor spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to employ a full-time sound engineer, whom he used for years to blow his lines into a rillette. Mr. Depp insisted that this sound engineer be maintained every year so that he no longer had to memorize his lines.”
Two months after the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge in July 2017, the star’s lawyers announced that they had reached an agreement with the opposing party. An agreement with obviously confidential terms, which above all allowed Depp to avoid media coverage that would certainly have been resounding. In retrospect, in the light of all these elements, we understand better why the filming period of the 5th part of the saga, the months that preceded it, and those that followed, was not really easy for the actor.