Johnny Depp Nixed a Female Villain for Dead Men Tell No Tales

Posted 2017/05/21 2773 0

Writer says dead men tell no tales had a female villain... until Johnny Depp made them change it.


Terry Rossio, who wrote the screenplays for the first four POTC movies, wrote a blog post on some of the “time risk” obstacles writers in Hollywood face, in writing vs. the hustle of actually getting movies made. It’s an interesting, informative read for anyone with an interest in screenwriting, full of anecdotes from a life in the industry. One such anecdote, which he drops around the middle of the post, explains why he was not brought on to write the latest Pirates movie.

My version of Dead Men Tell No Tales was set aside because it featured a female villain,” he writes, “and Johnny Depp was worried that would be redundant to Dark Shadows, which also featured a female villain.”

Now, Terry Rossio later notes that this script could have been dropped because it "simply sucked," but he makes it fairly clear that he usually doesn't think that's the case with his scripts. As he elaborates, sometimes it just takes one person with "often just a whim" to destroy years worth of work and world-building.

Rossio’s script was rewritten and the screenwriting credit is now going to Jeff Nathanson. Rossio has writing credits on all four of the previous Pirates films, so Dead Men Tell No Tales will be the first one he wouldn’t have written.

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) feels the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost sailors led by his old nemesis, the evil Capt. Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle. Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it, he must forge an uneasy alliance with a brilliant and beautiful astronomer and a headstrong young man in the British navy.

Directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning, Pirates also stars Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario, Brenton Thwaites, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is set to sail into theaters on May 26, 2017.