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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is a adventure film of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the sequel to the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the first film from Walt Disney Pictures to feature the current logo (even though the trailer and commercials of the movie showed one of the two previous logos). The film was directed by Gore Verbinski, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The movie received 4 Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and won the Academy Award for Visual Effects.

The story picks up from where the first film left off when Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) discovers his debt to the villainous Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is due, while Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) are arrested by Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) for helping Jack Sparrow escape execution.

The film was shot back-to-back with the third film during 2005, and was released in Australia and the United Kingdom on July 6, 2006, and in the United States and Canada on July 7, 2006. The film received mixed reviews, with praise for its special effects and criticism for its confusing plot and lengthy running time. Despite this, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest set several records in its first three days, with an opening weekend of $136 million in the United States, and became the third movie ever to gross over $1 billion in the worldwide box office, behind Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and is therefore Walt Disney Pictures' most financially successful film. The budget for this movie was estimated at $225 million.


The East India Trading Company arrives in Port Royalmarker, Jamaicamarker, to extend its monopoly in the Caribbeanmarker and purge piracy from its waters. Leading the expansion is Lord Cutler Beckett, a powerful and ruthless EITC agent who arrests Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann as they are about to be married. Beckett threatens to execute them and the absent ex-Commodore James Norrington for aiding Captain Jack Sparrow's escape, but he offers clemency if Will agrees to hunt for Sparrow and his magical compass which points to what its possessor wants most. An informant in Tortugamarker leads Will to the Black Pearl run aground on Pelegosto, a cannibal-inhabited island where Jack and his crew are captive. Jack hid there after "Bootstrap Bill" Turner, Jack's former crewmate and now an indentured sailor aboard Captain Davy Jones' ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman, delivered Jack the Black Spot, a mark signifying his debt to Jones is due. Thirteen years before, Jones raised the Pearl from the ocean depths and made Jack its captain. In exchange, Jack must now serve aboard the Dutchman for 100 years, or be hunted by Jones' beast, the legendary Kraken.

Will, Jack, and a few crew members escape their captors, unexpectedly recruiting Pintel and Ragetti along the way, and head for sea. Will learns that Jack has been searching for a particular key. Jack agrees to give Will the compass if he helps him find the key and the object it unlocks. Seeking assistance from Tia Dalma, an obeah priestess, Jack learns the compass fails to work because he does not know what he truly wants. The key, Tia tells him, unlocks the Dead Man's Chest containing Davy Jones' still-beating heart—to avoid lost love's pain, Jones carved the heart from his chest and buried it. Whoever possesses the heart controls Davy Jones, thereby controlling the world's oceans. Back at sea, the Dutchman encounters Sparrow, who deviously attempts to barter Will in exchange for himself. Jones demands 100 souls within three days in exchange for Jack's freedom and keeps Will as a "good faith payment," leaving Jack only 99 more souls to harvest.

In Port Royal, Governor Weatherby Swann frees Elizabeth. Confronting Beckett at gunpoint, she forces him to validate a Letter of Marque—a royal document with which Beckett intends to recruit Sparrow as a privateer, and which Elizabeth wants for Will. Posing as a cabin boy on a merchant vessel, Elizabeth lands in Tortuga where she finds Jack and Gibbs desperately recruiting unsuspecting sailors in a pub to pay off his blood debt. A disheveled Norrington also applies (having lost everything-his ship, his career and his purpose in life- after failing to catch Sparrow while pursuing the Black Pearl into a hurricane). Blaming Sparrow for his ruin, he tries to shoot him and ignites an angry brawl, but Elizabeth knocks Norrington out and saves Sparrow. At the pier, Jack reveals the compass' secret to Elizabeth; it points to what the holder wants most in the world. When he convinces her that she can save Will by finding the chest, she gets a bearing. Once the ship is underway, however, it appears that an attraction arises between Jack and Elizabeth.

On Isla Cruces, Jack, Norrington, and Elizabeth find the Dead Man's Chest. Will, who has escaped the Dutchman with help from his father, Bootstrap Bill, arrives with the key he stole from Davy Jones. Will wants to stab the heart to free his father, but Jack fears that with Jones dead, the Kraken will continue hunting him as there will be no one to call it off, while Norrington desires the heart to bargain back his naval career. As a three-way swordfight erupts, the arrival of Jones' crew and Pintel and Ragetti's attempt to make off with the chest complicate matters even more. Norrington ultimately escapes with the heart and the Letters of Marque while Jones' crewmembers retrieve the now-empty Dead Man's Chest.

Jack's confrontation with Kraken

The Dutchman pursues the Pearl but, with the wind behind them, the Pearl outruns her. Jones summons the Kraken. Jack escapes the Pearl in the last longboat; but unable to desert his crew, he returns in time to save them. After a fierce battle that kills every crew member except for Will, Jack, Gibbs, Pintel and Ragetti, Marty, Cotton, and Elizabeth, he gives the order to abandon ship before the Kraken makes its final assault. ‎Realizing the Kraken is only hunting Jack, a deceptive Elizabeth kisses him while handcuffing him to the mast as bait. Wracked with guilt over her betrayal, Elizabeth tells the others Jack chose to remain behind, unaware that Will now believes she loves Sparrow. Jack escapes the shackles just as the Kraken resurfaces: Jack draws his cutlass and goes down fighting as the Kraken lunges for him; the colossal beast drags him and the Pearl to a watery grave.

Davy Jones declares Jack's debt settled, although he becomes enraged when he discovers an empty Dead Man's Chest. Meanwhile, Norrington makes his way to Port Royal and delivers the heart of Davy Jones and the Letters of Marque to Cutler Beckett. Elizabeth, Will, and the surviving Pearl crew seek refuge with Tia Dalma, who asks if they would be willing to save Jack from Davy Jones' Locker. When all agree, Tia Dalma sends them on a journey to World's End to rescue Jack, saying they will need a captain who knows those waters; the resurrected Captain Barbossa.

After the credits, it shows the pirate's dog, which was earlier chased away, being worshipped by the cannibals.


  • Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow: Captain of the Black Pearl. He is hunted by the Kraken because of his unpaid blood debt to Davy Jones. He is also searching for the Dead Man's Chest to free himself from Jones' servitude.
  • Orlando Bloom as Will Turner: A blacksmith-turned-pirate who strikes a deal with Cutler Beckett to find Jack Sparrow and his compass so he can save both himself and his fiancée Elizabeth from execution. Later he is reunited with, and seeks to free, his father, who owes a lifetime of servitude to Davy Jones.
  • Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann: Governor Swann's daughter and Will's fiancée, who is arrested on her wedding day for helping Captain Jack Sparrow escape. Escaping jail with help from her father, she meets up with Jack in Tortugamarker and joins his crew to search for both Will and the chest.
  • Bill Nighy as Davy Jones: Captain of the Flying Dutchman. The main antagonist, Davy Jones was once a human being. Unable to bear the pain of losing his true love, he carved out his heart and put it into the Dead Man's Chest, then buried it in a secret location. He has become a bizarre creature – part octopus, part crab, part man – and collects the souls of dead or dying sailors to serve aboard his ship for one hundred years.
  • Jack Davenport as James Norrington: He resigned his commission as Commodore in the Royal Navy after losing his ship and crew in a hurricane in the pursuit of Jack Sparrow and his crew. Fallen on hard times and into alcoholism, he joins the Black Pearl's crew and seeks to regain his honor and career.
  • Stellan Skarsgård as "Bootstrap Bill" Turner: A crewman aboard the Flying Dutchman who so happens to be Will Turner's father. He was cursed by the Aztec gold on Isla de Muerta (along with Hector Barbossa's crew). Thrown overboard after refusing to take part in the mutiny against Jack led by Barbossa, he spent years bound to a cannon beneath the crushing ocean. Found by Davy Jones, he swore to servitude aboard the Flying Dutchman crew and escaped death.
  • Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs: The Black Pearl's first mate and Jack Sparrow's loyal friend, he once served in the Royal Navy under Lieutenant James Norrington.
  • Tom Hollander as Lord Cutler Beckett: Chairman of the East India Trading Company, he travels to Port Royal to capture and recruit Jack Sparrow as a privateer. What he really desires is Davy Jones' heart, with which he can rule the seas with Jones' commanded servitude.
  • Lee Arenberg as Pintel: A pirate and former Black Pearl crewmember under Captain Barbossa, he was imprisoned after the Aztec curse was broken, but escaped to rejoin Jack Sparrow's Black Pearl crew.
  • Mackenzie Crook as Ragetti: Pintel's inseparable crewmate. He has a wooden eye, and despite being illiterate, has begun "reading" the Bible, with the excuse that "you get credit for trying."
  • Naomie Harris as Tia Dalma: An obeah priestess who Jack Sparrow bartered with for his magic compass. She explains the legend of Davy Jones, in addition to owning a similar locket to his.
  • Jonathan Pryce as Governor Weatherby Swann. Elizabeth's father and governor of Port Royalmarker. He adores his daughter but puts little faith in Will - not considering him the best match for Elizabeth.
  • Geoffrey Rush as Hector Barbossa: Barbossa's character is resurrected during this film, however, he does not appear until the final scene. Having met his demise in the previous installment, Barbossa is resurrected by the character Tia Dalma in order to save Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' locker, therefore allowing a Brethren Court conclave in order to "release" Calypso from her Human Bonds. For this role, Rush was uncredited.


Following the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), the cast and crew signed on for two more sequels to be shot back-to-back, a practical decision on Disney's part to allow more time with the same cast and crew. Writer Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio decided not to make the sequels new adventures featuring the same characters, as with the Indiana Jones and James Bond series, but to retroactively turn The Curse of the Black Pearl into the first of a trilogy. They wanted to explore the reality of what would happen after Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann's embrace at the end of the first film, and initially considered the Fountain of Youth as the plot device. They settled on introducing Davy Jones, the Flying Dutchman and the Kraken, a mythology only mentioned once in the first film. They also introduced the historical East India Trading Company, who for them represented a counterpoint to the themes of personal freedom represented by pirates.

Planning on the film began in June 2004, and production was much larger than The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was only shot on location in St. Vincentmarker. This time, the sequels would require fully working ships, with a working Black Pearl built over the body of an oil tanker in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. By November, the script was still unfinished as the writers did not want director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to compromise what they had written, so Verbinski worked with James Byrkit to storyboard major sequences without need of a script, while Elliott and Rossio wrote a "preparatory" script for the crew to use before they finished the script they were happy with. By January 2005, with rising costs and no script, Disney threatened to cancel the film, but changed their minds. The writers would accompany the crew on location, feeling that the lateness of their rewrites would improve the spontaneity of the cast's performances.


Filming for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest began on February 28, 2005, in Palos Verdesmarker, beginning with Elizabeth's ruined wedding day. The crew spent the first shooting days at Walt Disney Studiosmarker in Los Angelesmarker, including the interiors of the Black Pearl and the Edinburgh Trader which Elizabeth stows away on, before moving to St. Vincent to shoot the scenes in Port Royalmarker and Tortugamarker. Sets from the previous film were reused, having survived three hurricanes, although the main pier had to be rebuilt as it had collapsed in November. The crew had four tall ships at their disposal to populate the backgrounds, which were painted differently on each side for economy. One of the ships used was the replica of the HMS Bounty used in the 1962 film adaptation of Mutiny on the Bounty.

On April 18, 2005, the crew began shooting at Dominicamarker, a location Verbinski had selected as he felt it fitted the sense of remoteness he was looking for. That was exactly the problem during production: the Dominican government were completely unprepared for the scale of a Hollywood production, with the 500-strong crew occupying around 90% of the roads on the island and having trouble moving around on the underdeveloped roads. The weather also alternated between torrential rainstorms and hot temperatures, the latter of which was made worse for the cast who had to wear period clothing. At Dominica, the sequences involving the Pelegosto and the forest segment of the battle on Isla Cruces were shot. Verbinski preferred to use practical props for the giant wheel and bone cage sequences, feeling long close-up shots would help further suspend the audience's disbelief. Dominica was also used for Tia Dalma's shack. Filming on the island concluded on May 26, 2005.

The crew moved to a small island called White Cay in the Bahamasmarker for the beginning and end of the Isla Cruces battle, before production took a break until August, where in Los Angeles the interiors of the Flying Dutchman were shot. On September 18, 2005, the crew moved to Grand Bahama Islandmarker to shoot ship exteriors, including the working Black Pearl and Flying Dutchman. Filming there was a tumultuous period, starting with the fact that the tank had not actually been finished. The hurricane season caused many pauses in shooting, and Hurricane Wilma damaged many of the accessways and pumps, though no one was hurt nor were any of the ships destroyed. Filming completed on September 10, 2005.

Special effects

From real to reality: Davy Jones is brought to life.
The Flying Dutchman's crew members were originally conceived by writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio as ghosts, but Gore Verbinski disliked this and designed them as physical creatures. Their hierarchy is reflected by how mutated they were: newcomers had low level infections which resemble rosacea, while the most mutated had full-blown undersea creature attributes. Verbinski wanted to keep them realistic, rejecting a character with a turtle shell, and the animators watched various David Attenborough documentaries to study the movement of sea anemones and mussels. All of the crew are computer-generated, with the exception of Stellan Skarsgård, who played "Bootstrap" Bill Turner. Initially his prosthetics would be augmented with CGI but that was abandoned. Skarsgård spent four hours in the make-up chair and was dubbed "Bouillabaisse" on set.

Captain Davy Jones himself had originally been designed with chin growths, before the designers made the move to full-blown tentacles; the skin of the character is based on a blurred version of the texture of a coffee-stained Styrofoam cup. To portray Jones on set, Bill Nighy wore a motion capture tracksuit that meant the animators at Industrial Light & Magic did not have to reshoot the scene in the studio without him or on the motion capture stage. Nighy wore make-up around his eyes and mouth to splice into the computer-generated shots, but the images of his eyes and mouth were not used. Nighy only wore a prosthetic once, with blue-colored tentacles for when Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) steals the key to the Dead Man's Chest from under his "beard" as he sleeps. To create the CG version of the character, the model was closely based on a full-body scan of Nighy, with Jones reflecting his high cheekbones. Animators studied every frame of Nighy's performance: the actor himself had blessed them by making his performance more quirky than expected, providing endless fun for them. His performance also meant new controls had to be stored. Finally, Jones' tentacles are mostly a simulation, though at times they were hand-animated when they act as limbs for the character.

The Kraken was difficult to animate as it had no real-life reference, until animation director Hal Hickel instructed the crew to watch King Kong vs. Godzilla which had a real octopus crawling over miniatures. On the set, two pipes filled with 30,000 pounds of cement were used to crash and split the Edinburgh Trader: Completing the illusion are miniature masts and falling stuntmen shot on a bluescreen stage. The scene where the Kraken spits at Jack Sparrow does not use computer-generated spit: it was real gunge thrown at Johnny Depp.

Release and reception

Johnny Depp at the London premiere for the film in July 2006
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest premiered at Disneylandmarker in Anaheim, Californiamarker on June 24, 2006. It was the first Disney film to use the new computer-generated Disney production logo.

The film became available on DVD on December 5, 2006 for Region 1, and sold 10.5 million copies in its first week of sales, thus becoming the biggest home video debut of 2006. The versions for Regions 2 and 4 had already been released on November 15, 2006 and November 20, 2006, respectively. The DVD, incompatible with some Region 1 hardware DVD Players due to the use of ARccOS Protection, came in single and two-disc versions. Both contained a commentary track with the screenwriters and a gag reel, with the double-disc featuring a video of the film premiere and a number of documentaries, including a full-length documentary entitled "According to the Plan" and eight featurettes. The film was released on Blu-ray Disc on May 22, 2007.

Box office

The film broke two North American records upon release, largest opening day gross with $55.8 million, beating the previous year's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith by 11%, and biggest opening weekend gross with $135.6 million, beating 2002's Spider-Man. The film set 15 other box office records, including the fastest film to reach $200 and $300 million, the highest ten-day gross, and the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide.

The film ended with $423 million domestically and just over $1 billion worldwide, becoming the sixth highest grossing film domestically and the third highest worldwide, behind Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Adjusted for inflation, the film is the 44th highest grossing domestically.

Critical reaction

After months of anticipation and industry hype, reviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest were mixed, as the film scored a 53% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Among the positive critics were Michael Booth of the Denver Post, who awarded the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, praising it as "two hours and 20 minutes of escapism that once again makes the movies safe for guilt-free fun." Drew McWeeny was highly positive, comparing the film to The Empire Strikes Back, and also acclaimed its darkness in its depiction of the crew of the Flying Dutchman and its cliffhanger. The completely computer-generated Davy Jones turned out to be so realistic that some reviewers mistakenly identified Nighy as wearing prosthetic makeup.

On the other hand, critic Michael Medved gave the film two stars out of four, calling the plot "sloppy, ...convoluted and insipid." Paul Arendt of the BBC negatively compared it to The Matrix Reloaded, as a complex film that merely led onto the next film. Richard George felt a "better construct of Dead Man's Chest and At World's End would have been to take 90 minutes of Chest, mix it with all of End and then cut that film in two." Alex Billington felt the third film "almost makes the second film in the series obsolete or dulls it down enough that we can accept it in our trilogy DVD collections without ever watching it."The film ranks 475th on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.


At the 79th Academy Awards, visual effects supervisors John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. The film was also nominated for Best Art Direction, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

The film also won a BAFTA and Satellite award for Best Visual Effects, and six awards from the Visual Effects Society.

Other awards won by the film include Choice Movie: Action Adventure, Choice Drama/Action Adventure Movie, Actor for Johnny Depp at the 2006 Teen Choice Awards; Favorite Movie, Movie Drama, Male Actor for Depp and On-Screen Couple for Depp and Keira Knightley at the 33rd People's Choice Awards; Best Movie and Performance for Depp at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards and Best Special Effects at the Saturn Awards, and Favorite Movie at the 2007 Kids' Choice Awards.


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