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Pirates of the Caribbean - Jerry Bruckheimer Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Now it seems obvious to take a popular Disney theme park ride and turn it into a romp, but what triggered the idea off in your head? What made you think this could be a massive movie?
A.
You never really know, what the scope is. What excited me about it, was that when we brought the two Shrek writers in, they thought of the idea that these pirates could turn into skeletons at night and can’t be killed; so they have to return the treasure, rather than steal it. It’s not about a theme park ride, it has the title of one, but it’s a movie in itself. We have visual references to the ride, but it doesn’t go beyond that. It’s got to stand on its own two legs.

Q. The film is subtitled, The Curse of the Black Pearl. How did you avoid the curse of the pirate movie?
A.
I always trust the material and that’s the reason the film is really exciting. I always feel that when pictures have a long timespan between genres, I think that can be exciting. We did it with Flashdance, when people said musicals wouldn’t work, and we did it with Top Gun, when they said that aviator films wouldn’t get anybody in. I was told when I made Beverley Hills Cop that no African American actor could gross over $12 million, when, in fact, it did $234 million, so those kind of challenges really excite me, because with the right amount of talent (great writing, great directing and great actors), you can overcome all of those ‘curses’.

Q. So are there any more genres you’d like to conquer? The Western maybe?
A.
I’d love to do a Western, and we’re working on a number of them, so we’ll figure that out too, I hope.

Q. Now that you’ve hoisted the Jolly Roger at the top of the Box Office, how long might we have to make for Pirates 2?
A.
Hopefully, not long if we can get everybody back together again. They key is to get the same team, starting with the writers, and then Gore and all the actors. It’s usually something that’s very hard to put together, because they’re all very busy. We have a picture coming out next weekend, in America, you know - Bad Boys 2 - and it took us seven years to get those three back together again; the director and the two actors. But it really comes down to material and having a great idea; if there’s a great script, we’ll figure out how to put it together again.

Q. With all the film and TV work you put together now, how do you decide how involved you get in each film? I mean, how involved were you in this film, for instance?
A.
Again it comes down to the team you put together. Gore and I, and the writer, sat down and we decided what kind of movie we were going to make, and they went off and made that movie; so it’s not hard, when you have great people, to do more than one film at a time. It comes down to delegating authority and having talented people to do it. I’m around, but these guys are doing the hard work.
I see the rushes every day, and while I couldn’t be in the Caribbean an awful lot, I tried to stop by the set at least two to three times a week…Once the picture has started, it’s Gore who has the headache, so I just try and help him, if he sees problems.

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