- “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” was surprise hit Disney movie in 2003.
- Almost 16 years later, many stars featured in the original movie have flourishing careers.
- Keira Knightley is now known for her roles in iconic period-piece movies, while Zoe Saldana is the face of two different billion-dollar franchises.
Few people expected Disney’s ride-inspired movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” to be such a wild success back in 2003, let alone give rise to a billion-dollar film franchise. But with the rockstar casting and help from Hans Zimmer’s iconic score, “Curse of the Black Pearl” became an instant modern classic.
Keep reading to see what the stars of Disney’s breakout movie are up to almost 16 years after the film’s premiere.
Orlando Bloom starred as Will Turner in this breakout role following his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy fame.
Prior to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Bloom was only recognisable with his long blonde Legolas wig on.
Now Bloom is taking his acting chops to the stage for a theatre production in London.
Through mid-August of 2018, Bloom is starring as the lead character in the dark comedy “Killer Joe” in London’s Trafalgar Studios theatre.
Bloom has also regularly reprised his role as Will Turner for the many “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels, including 2017’s “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
You can also see Bloom in the Amazon original series “Carnival Row,” a new drama reported by Entertainment Weekly to be a “fantasy noir set in a neo-Victorian city,” coming in 2019.
Keira Knightley was only 17 years old when she filmed “Pirates of the Caribbean” alongside Bloom.
Knightley had previously caught fans’ attention in the beloved indie film “Bend It Like Beckham” and was also featured in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” but her portrayal of Elizabeth Swann rocketed her into fame.
Knightley continued to tackle many iconic period films like “Pride and Prejudice,” “Atonement,” and “Anna Karenina.”
She has also reappeared in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels as Elizabeth, and most recently starred in the acclaimed biopic “The Imitation Game” alongside Benedict Cumberbatch.
You can see Knightley in the coming 2019 period film “The Aftermath,” a post-World War II movie.
Elizabeth’s father, Governor Weatherby Swann, was played by Jonathan Pryce.
Pryce sported an old-fashion wig for his role as the pompous governor of Port Royal.
“Game of Thrones” fans will have recognised Pryce as the High Sparrow from seasons five and six.
Pryce also stars in the new film “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” with Adam Driver, a movie which premiered last year at Cannes but has been embroiled in a legal battle currently preventing it from getting a clean wide release.
Commodore James Norrington was Elizabeth’s would-be fiancé, played by Jack Davenport.
Norrington wanted to marry the now-of-age Elizabeth despite the fact that he was an apparently grown man when she was still a child. Thankfully their engagement was very short-lived.
Actor Jack Davenport has since appeared on several TV shows including “The Good Wife” and “The Mindy Project.”
Like many of the original movie’s stars, Davenport has also reprised his role as James Norrington for the successor films. You can also catch him starring in the thriller series “Next of Kin,” streaming on Sundance Now.
Johnny Depp’s career was supercharged once more after his performance as the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow.
Depp’s career had been well-established prior to this film, but his fame took on a new Disney-fied level after “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Depp has continued starring in major blockbuster film and franchises, though not without controversy.
Following 2016 news reports of Depp’s alleged domestic abuse of his ex-wife Amber Heard, many wished for him to be recast and scrapped from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” spinoff franchise “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.” The second film, in which Depp plays Gellert Grindelwald, premiered last fall to mixed reviews.
Kevin McNally starred as Joshamee Gibbs, first mate of Jack Sparrow’s crew.
Gibbs was on hand to catch Will Turner up with pirate lore and superstitions throughout “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.”
As with many of the stars, McNally has also continued appearing in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie sequels.
But McNally can also be found on several TV series, including ABC’s recently canceled “Designated Survivor” and CW series “The Outpost.”
You might have forgotten that Hollywood star Zoe Saldana had a small role in the first “Pirates of Caribbean” movie.
Saldana played the ship captain pirate Anamaria, who had her boat stolen by Jack Sparrow. Saldana was 23 years old at the time, and has since reflected on her experience on set that left her with a bitter taste after she was “treated like an extra.”
Now Saldana has landed starring roles in the world’s biggest movie franchises, including “Avatar” and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Both “Avatar” and “Avengers: Infinity War” grossed a record-breaking $US2 billion, making Saldana a rare actor in Hollywood for her starring appearance in both films. She’s set to appear in all four planned “Avatar” sequels, the first of which is scheduled to arrive in theatres by Christmas 2020.
The main antagonist of the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” was none other than Captain Barbosa, played by Geoffrey Rush.
Barbosa was the pirate who mutinied against Jack Sparrow, leaving him marooned but then cursing himself inadvertently in the process after stealing Cortez’s chest of gold coins.
Rush has also continued to appear in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels, as well as other films and TV series.
Most recently, Rush played Albert Einstein in The National Geographic’s 2017 anthology TV show “Genius.”
Rush is also currently involved with a defamation lawsuit after The Telegraph published reports of the actor engaging in alleged “inappropriate behaviour” during a stage production at the Sydney Theatre Company.
One of the most iconic side characters in “Curse of the Black Pearl” was Pintel the pirate, played by Lee Arenberg.
Arenberg has decades of character acting experience, but his role in “Pirates of the Caribbean” might be one of his most recognisable.
Arenberg went on to star in another Disney franchise, ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.”
Arenberg played Grumpy/Leroy for seven years on “Once Upon a Time,” the Disney fantasy TV series which blends folklore with “real life.” Unfortunately the series was canceled last year, making the latest seventh season its last.
Pintel was pirate buddies with the one-eyed Ragetti, portrayed by British comedy star Mackenzie Crook.
Ragetti and Pintel were two of the film’s biggest sources of comic relief among the zombified pirate murdering and curse-breaking plotline.
Crook also made an appearance on “Game of Thrones” as the wildling Orell, and also starred in the BBC series “The Detectorists.”
The first two seasons of Crook’s dry comedy series “The Detectorists” is streaming now on Netflix. Crook also stars on Netflix and BBC One’s “Watership Down” animated series.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.