Had one writer of the original Pirates of the Caribbean screenplay had his way, Johnny Depp’s demure, rock star portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow might never have been, and in his place – a tall, well-muscled Aussie would have played the charming buccaneer.
Australian writer-director Stuart Beattie revealed in an interview this week that, as he created the character of Captain Jack Sparrow, it was Hugh Jackman that he had in mind. However, as the screenplay went to production, Jackman was still relatively unknown in the United States, so, according to Beattie, Disney wouldn’t go for it. They opted for Depp instead – and the rest is, indeed, cinematic history.
Beattie also said that the Pirates project was ten years in the making. “I spent ten years pitching it (to) Disney and they weren’t interested. Then finally, I got a call to come back in,” he says.
Would the franchise have been as wildly successful with Jackman at the helm – sometimes – of the Black Pearl? We’ll never know. But, it is interesting to note that the actor has gone on to enjoy great success in the U.S., and has since become a household name in his own right, thanks in part to his role of Wolverine in the X-Men series of movies.
Perhaps the powers-that-be would consider casting Jackman in another swashbuckling role. Now that would certainly give fans of Pirates something to ponder.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” opens everywhere May 20, 2011.