Disney has released the first teaser trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – when a film title is so long that it could pass as a sentence, someone has to change it – but here’s the interesting thing: it actually looks … good?
It is curious that Pirates of the Caribbean has followed the same trajectory as the Transformers franchise. Both franchises, although much maligned at present, started off with solid and actually enjoyable first instalments. They grabbed the idea of commercial films manufactured for a general audience and told a fun and energetic story … but they quickly became dry, limp and empty commercial films that saw character and story as secondary to everything else entirely.
But here’s the difference with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the Transformers franchise. Whilst the Transformers film has seen only 2-3 years between each of its’ releases, and that’s including the one arriving in 2017, Pirates of the Caribbean has taken a much needed break to reassess the franchise, its’ direction and give the general movie audience a break.
Now, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 will arrive in 2017, a whole six years after the last film in the franchise arrived in theatres. People were getting sick of the story and it felt like the people behind the franchise were running out of ideas. By taking such a long time off and drafting in some fresh faces to direct the fifth instalment – Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg are at the helm on this one – Disney is looking to breath some fresh air into this lucrative franchise.
The only problem with such a long break could be audience attention. Essentially, would audiences be interested in a story they thought had ended six years ago? It’s the same worry some have about the Avatar franchise which will release its’ sequel nine years later. The difference is that Avatar was such a phenomenon – still the highest grossing movie of all time – that it may be immune to usual trends. Is Pirates of the Caribbean the same way?
Nevertheless, this teaser trailer paints a very different Pirates film. It feels creepier and colder and different to all that has come before but looks to have the same eccentric style of comedy. Whilst some of the visuals, namely the hair on the ghosts, look a little off the overall production on the trailer musters some excitement in me. And I like how compact the teaser was.
If you want to know more, here’s the official synopsis:
Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea, including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artefact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales hits theatres on 26th May 2017.