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retroCRUSH INTERVIEWS GORE VERBINSKI

PHOTO BY KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES

I was invited to do a new type of interview with Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy director Gore Verbinski via an "online press junket" in which Disney simulcast some DVD special features via the web, then made him available to answer journalist questions via chat. Luckily, 6 of my questions were chosen, so I'm able to present them here for your pirate pleasure.

The final installment of the series will be released on DVD December 4th, and it's actually full of some great extras that I think are worth the extra 5-7 bucks it'll run you. There's a gorgeous making of segment that shows how they put the whole maelstrom scene together, a fun piece about putting the multiple Jack Sparrows together, and even a featurette about Keith Richards' involvement.

The third part remains my favorite, and the good review I gave it during the theatrical release still holds up. I've liked most everything Gore has done from The Ring to The Weather Man, and am eager to see what kind of work he can do now that he's finished up this monster effort.

What is it about pirates, which by their own admission are some of the world's most horrible and skuzzy people, that makes them so appealing to so many?

Rebellion, same as Sid Vicious.

What sort of difficulties did you have in sustaining the level of energy for so long in the final battle scene in the whirlpool?

By this time in production of P2 and P3 we had been shooting for close to 200 days. I think everyone was exhausted, but when the wind and the rain come on you wake up quickly.

Davey Jones' fate, considering his history with Tia is awfully sad, was it hard to flesh out his back story, and still make him an obvious bad guy?

Davy was the villain in Dead Man’s Chest and more the victim in At World’s End. It was always our intention to create a parallel between Jones/Tia Dalma relationship and the Will/Elizabeth love story. However Will and Elizabeth choose to suffer the pain of love, while Jones cut out his own heart to avoid it. As a villain, Jones was born out of tragedy. For him it is all personal, he wants you to suffer as he has. Beckett on the other hand is far more clinical. To me he is much scarier because it isn’t personal at all. He represents the future, the faceless corporation at the expense of the individual. The fate of Jones is as much the result of his misguided anger towards Tia Dalma as it is the consequence of progress.

Was there ever going to be a death scene for The Kraken or was it a conscious decision to treat his fate as shown here?

For me the Kraken was played out in Dead Man’s Chest. I think the idea that Beckett had Jones “put him down” is far more haunting then witnessing the process. Beckett is the killer of myths. It is the end of an era and both Jack and Barbossa recognize their own imminent extinction in this changing world, while they gaze upon the carcass of the leviathan.

The beginning of POTC3 is awfully grim, were there any creative struggles with Disney to open the film that way?

It is interesting to me that Disney as a brand is somehow equated with ‘happy meals and soccer moms.’ Yet Walt Disney was well aware of the necessity of drama within a narrative. He made “Bambi” and “ Old Yeller” both of which had their grim moments that were essential in creating the emotional stakes of those pictures. I think we have remained true to the brand and the folks running the studio today were kind enough to let me stand by these principles.

What's the coolest souvenir that you've kept from the series?

Jack’s peanut.

-Robert Berry

rberry@retrocrush.com