(WARNING: Even though this is just speculation, this article might contain some possible spoilers for Dead Men Tell No Tales.)
Who could have thought that a movie based on a theme park could be getting a fifth installment after 14 years? As Johnny Depp dons the wig, the hat and the beard to take on the titular role, studio execs are calling it a "soft reboot" of the franchise. Even though the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise had gained popularity, On Stranger Tides had single-handedly brought that down, financially and critically. A fine example of a soft reboot is The Force Awakens because it reinvigorated the franchise and also passed the torch to the next generation.
We can see from the trailers that #DeadMenTellNoTales will hinge on the rivalry between Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and Captain #JackSparrow (Depp). Salazar wants to take revenge on Sparrow — and every living pirate — because of Sparrow's betrayal at the Devil's Triangle. Meanwhile, Sparrow is on a quest to find the Trident of Poseidon to protect himself against Salazar. Even though that sounds pretty simple, if we have learned anything from the previous installations, it is that there is going to be an intertwining plot that will add some flavor to this adventure, while also introducing the new characters.
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Even though the trailers are trying to convince us that the movie is about Salazar and Sparrow, the sneak peek of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) begs the question about the fate of Henry Turner, Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and The Flying Dutchman. I am basing this theory on the hope that there isn't a deus ex-machina moment that will just destroy The Flying Dutchman — that'll be really sad!
Like Father, Like Son
After much speculation, it has been confirmed that Brenton Thwaites's character is, in fact, Will Turner's (Orlando Bloom) son, Henry Turner. The young actor, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, talked about his first confrontation with the titular pirate:
"My first scene with [Johnny], if I’m remembering correctly, was the scene where Henry is trying to convince Jack Sparrow to team up with him and find this ancient treasure that could one, help Henry, and two, ultimately save Jack — so, a lot of things going on. I just remember being absolutely terrified, like I’d never acted in my life before doing this scene. I just remember thinking, ‘How am I going to stand there and talk to Johnny Depp for three minutes, opposite a character that I’d grown up with in my teenage years? It’s not going to be possible.'"
Even though the actor was pretty excited (who wouldn't be?) on playing young Turner, his fate doesn't seem to be pretty bright, due to the return of his father, William Turner aboard The Flying Dutchman.
If you remember, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End focused on a single artifact: Davy Jones's Heart. At the end of the third movie, William Turner sacrificed himself to free his father, with some help from Sparrow. That saved his life so that he could have some sexy time with Mrs. Turner and, as 10 years has passed, it means it is time for him to return.
After looking at William's face, it doesn't look like he has been doing his task very well, and has possibly gone down the path of Davy Jones. This could mean only one thing: a bitter father-son reunion. Here, Henry might learn about his father, whom he hasn't met for 10 years, and possibly make the same sacrifice that William made for his father, sailing the seas beside him. Hopefully, this time they won't screw up their face again and ferry the damn souls properly.
The Immortal Captain Jack Sparrow
This is no mystery that Jack Sparrow just loves sailing and pirating about. In a sequence from At World's End, he even contemplates stabbing the heart of Davy Jones and sailing on uncharted territories for the rest of his life. However selfish he might look like, he ignored his life-long dream to save his friend's life and kill Davy Jones (Bill Nighy).
10 years later, he is a changed man and might not be so willing to sacrifice his dream again. #Disney also knows that Pirates is nothing without Jack Sparrow, and considering Depp's age, they will keep him but use him sparingly.
Like I said before, it doesn't look like William Turner has been doing his job, and that means that he isn't going to survive this one. Even though we love Orlando Bloom, it looks like he might turn out to be the second villain of the movie and that might lead to his death at the hands of his son or Jack Sparrow. It is pretty dangerous to leave the "ferrying of dead souls" job to Sparrow, but I think he'll handle it pretty well because he is the only person who actually wants to be a pirate.
The Wild Card Entrants
I am pretty sure Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is going to bid goodbye to this franchise after this one, leaving David Wenham's Scarfield and Carina Smyth to take on the not-so-coveted job of captaining The Flying Dutchman. As Wenham's character has been kept under the wraps, much cannot be said about his chances, but Carina looks to be in the midst of everything.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Kaya revealed a bit about her character's motivation in the story,
"[Carina] is an astronomer, and she is an academic. She's fighting for the right to study at university, because women couldn't at that time. So she's on her own journey — looking for the trident of Poseidon — and she has a diary with clues, and she encounters Jack Sparrow along the way, and he messes everything up. As he does. And it's fun!"
So, unlike Swann, Smyth doesn't look like a reluctant entrant into this adventure. Also, I think two men have already captained The Flying Dutchman and haven't done a very good job at it. It would be a fresh approach by introducing a female captain of The Flying Dutchman, and as she is pretty knowledgeable, I think she will do a fine job of ferrying the dead souls (how hard could that be!?) while also pursuing her career as an astronomer.
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Dead Men Tell No Tales has a lot riding on it and the initial positive reactions is a relief for all Pirates fans. Still, however Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg might spin this, someone is bound to get their heart stabbed on May 26th, 2017, including us.