Swashbucklers of all varieties swarmed the Disneyland Resort this morning, eager to watch the world premiere of the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides trailer. Fans and contest winners lined up in front of the AMC theaters in Downtown Disney, braving the icy cold California morning (in which temperatures plunged into the low 50s) in order to be the first to catch a glimpse of Jack Sparrow’s new adventures. “Official” pirates from the park sang sea shanties and conducted costume contests, while director Rob Marshall appeared beforehand to introduce the trailer. In the midst of it, he dropped a few tantalizing hints about the content of the new film. (Avast mateys! Thar be spoilers ahead. Fairly warned thee be, says I.)
After the trailer screening, guests were taken into the Disneyland park just before the gates opened for the day. The sailing ship Columbia appeared—complete with crew—who sang more sea shanties and swore in the new “crew members” with a lengthy pirate oath. They were joined by none other than Jack Sparrow himself, who seemed confused as to whether the guests were to be conscripted or executed. Once the issue was cleared up (thankfully with no blood being spilt), the guests took a trip on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, followed by a breakfast and after-party at a nearby pavilion. While Disney provided bacon and eggs, the guests could take pictures with Jack and his crew, as well as with the huge mock-up of the film’s teaser poster, featuring a grinning silver Jack skull. Hit the jump for more.
UPDATE: Disney has provided us with some footage from today’s event as well as an interview with director Rob Marshall. Both are after the jump:
As for the trailer itself? It featured an introduction from Geoffrey Rush, who reprises his role of Captain Barbossa in the film, The wily pirate has changed sides, it seems: now serving as a captain in the British Navy (though we suspect this particular leopard retains the same spots as ever). He and Johnny Depp’s Jack open the proceedings in London, where Jack is seeking the whereabouts of an imposter. From there, it’s back to the New World in search of the legendary Fountain of Youth. Along the way, they’re joined by Penelope Cruz’s feisty pirate queen and Ian McShane’s thoroughly unpleasant Blackbeard. Watch it for yourself here.
The trailer only hinted at the details—though to be sure, there were plenty of buckles swashed throughout—concentrating instead on the film’s use of 3D. The camera swooped through lush jungles and barren shorelines while Jack (and the audience) dodge cannonballs, rapiers, and the occasional zombie hurtling right in our face. As impressive as they all looked, however, the real selling point was the same as it was for the first three films: Depp, at his mincing, quipping best in the center of all the mayhem. The trailer delivered plenty of his one-liners (“I hope you all saw that, “ he gesticulates after a spectacular dive, “because I will not be doing it again!”), as well as more athletic moments of the crossing-sabers-and-swinging-from-yardarms variety. The trailer made clear that—whatever changes On Stranger Tides makes—the essence of the series remains intact.
“I remember going on the ride as a kid,” he said, while standing in front of the entrance. “It was back when they used tickets for the different rides. This was definitely an E-ticket back then, and we got the same feeling with this shoot: a real adventure.”
Part of that adventure involved getting the 3D right. Marshall said he considered it a key step because it immerses the audience in Jack’s world… a world, he stressed, that relied on actual locations rather than CGI.
“Because there’s 3D involved, you’re bringing in 3D rigs. It’s one thing if you’re bringing it into a soundstage or on a green screen. Here, we’re bringing it into caves and into waterfalls, and jungles and swamps…. Some pretty amazing places.”
Marshall was quick to sing the praises of his entire cast, particularly Depp, who he described as “a dream.” Working with him posed a particular challenge, since the actor knows the character so well, but both men quickly established a working rapport. “He’s an actor, and he wants guidance,” Marshall claimed. “It was my job to give him what he needed without getting in the way of this wonderful figure he’s created.”
As for other surprises the film might contain, the director was tight lipped, and when asked if it would make any nods to the ride, he simply smiled. “There are two… but I’m not going to tell you which ones.”
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens May 20, 2011.
UPDATE: Here’s director Rob Marshall talking about today’s event and the next video is 10 minutes of behind the scenes footage from this morning. In case you weren’t able to go, now you can see what you missed: