It’s funny to think that back when Disney first announced Pirates of the Caribbean as a feature film, everyone rolled their ideas at the prospect of turning a theme park ride into a movie. Moreover, cult actor Johnny Depp as a movie star? Laughable. Now Pirates is a bona fide mega-franchise with its fifth installment on the horizon, and ahead of the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Depp is getting into the spirit by surprising folks riding the original attraction at Disneyland in California.
Indeed, yesterday some lucky parkgoers who opted to jump on Pirates of the Caribbean were greeted with a massive surprise during the Jack Sparrow portion. Instead of the Sparrow animatronic that was installed following the first film’s success, Depp himself was in its place in full character, greeting parkgoers in a friendly, drunkenly manner.
It’s pretty cool, and a really neat surprise for unsuspecting riders. Quite a few folks captured the moment on Twitter, as you can see in the videos below. Perhaps word got around the park that Depp himself was on the ride, though I don’t want to imagine what kind of line that created at the attraction’s entrance.
Dead Men Tell No Tales finds Depp facing down a nefarious figure from his past, played by Javier Bardem, with newcomers Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario playing new characters that appear to be stand-ins of sorts for Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. Early reactions to the film have been pleasantly surprising, and I’m curious to see what directors Joachim Rønning and Espend Sandberg have brought to the franchise when the film hits theaters on May 26th.