Monday, August 9, 2010

Ahoy, mateys! Pirates in Hawaii!

You may be aware that Disney & Co. is working on a fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I remember my friend taking me to see the first movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl, for my birthday. Considering the quality of the recent movies adapted from Disney World rides/shows (Haunted Mansion, Country Bears), it could have been pretty bad (though since we were both Orlando Bloom fans I guess we weren't very concerned about that). But it turned out being a delightful surprise, funny and entertaining, and Johnny Depp's performance as Captain Jack Sparrow was classic (and Oscar nominated). The two sequels were disappointments, but they still made a ton of money, and Disney wanted more. The fourth movie will not have Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley, though Depp will be returning. Really, what is Pirates without Captain Jack Sparrow?

As it turns out, Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides is currently filming on O'ahu, where I live. Apparently they will be filming sections of the movie on both O'ahu and Kaua'i; Maui and Moloka'i were used for small parts of Pirates 3. The islands have been chosen for their range of beautiful land and seascapes, and of course for the tax incentives. The state estimates that the movie could bring in $85 million to Hawaii, which is sorely needed as the largely tourism-based economy has been hurting in the global economic crisis.

Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz arrived on the island for filming about a week ago. While they are pretty hard to spot, there are some players in the movie that are much more difficult to hide: the pirate ships. One of the pirate ships for the movie is currently docked in Kaneohe Bay, and the Housemate and I went out to see it on Saturday morning.

The end of the dock is blocked off, so the public can only get so close to the ship. If I had a boat I could get closer (harder for them to block off the water), but it wasn't a bad view. From what I can gather, this ship has been used as the Black Pearl, but in its current state it is "playing" Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's ship (Blackbeard will be played by Ian McShane). I guess ships as well as people can put on different outfits and play different characters.

Queen Anne's Revenge, from the dock. Click for a larger view.

The big white cube in the middle may be a light that they use when they shoot at night.

Blown up detail shots:

The flag

The skeleton figurehead

Total grainy zoom paparazzi shot.

The cage of skeletons hanging off the stern

View from the beach

Me and the ship!

Bonus geek points if you can identify the shirt.

The pirate ship wasn't the only thing to see on the trip. This is a different view from the dock.

The mountains were pretty cloudy and rainy. Here's a photo I snapped from the car on the way back.

And another photo taken out the car window

I don't know whether the fourth Pirates movie will restore the franchise to its former glory or send it down to Davy Jones' locker. Hopefully the new blood (new cast members and new director) will make it fresh again. Either way, I'll probably see it, and I'll be keeping an eye out for any familiar sights.


Ambiguous Geek said...

Oooh. Like the ship.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for POTC 4.

I wouldn't have minded to see Kiera in it again... but I am totally fine with Bloom being amiss.

Eleni said...

I'm kind of done with both Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, considering how it all went down in the third movie. I think it's good they're giving Cpt. Jack some new companions.

Ruth said...

I'm glad it's not going to be the same story again, same characters, etc. Looking forward to more and new adventures! :)

Thanks for sharing the pics, it looks exciting. :)

Girls Are Geeks said...

I agree, with a whole new direction, this could go well, but it could be horrible. Must be fun to be near the set though. Johnny Depp is one of my favorites, I've been in love with him since long before everyone else caught on (21 Jump Street anyone!)

Girls Are Geeks

Eleni said...

Ruth - Yeah, I hope it's good. With the new director hopefully it will take a new direction. The last few just got a bit too big and confusing.

Rosalind - I hear they've been filming in the middle of the night, but it's harder to convince friends to go with me then. Probably why they film in the middle of the night, come to think of it. If I happened to see Depp, though, I think I'd probably just run away for fear of doing something more embarrassing.

Eleni said...

Oh dear, Blogger seems to be having comment issues again. Now it looks like I responded to an imaginary friend named Rosalind. Last time comments started disappearing, it all fixed itself eventually, but in the meantime I'll try posting what Rosalind (Girls Are Geeks) said:

I agree, with a whole new direction, this could go well, but it could be horrible. Must be fun to be near the set though. Johnny Depp is one of my favorites, I've been in love with him since long before everyone else caught on (21 Jump Street anyone!)

Girls Are Geeks

Amy said...

Oh that is so cool! Thanks for grabbing shots. I'm skeptical about a 4th installment, but also excited. And I confess that I'm looking forward to seeing Ian McShane as Blackbeard.

Eleni said...

I agree--I think if they'd never made the two sequels and just left it as the delightful Curse of the Black Pearl, I'd be a slightly happier person. I just hope the fourth redeems the franchise rather than taints the memory of the first movie even more. I'm trying to think of an example of when that's happened in movies before, though, and I'm not getting anything.

I didn't know that Ian McShane had been cast in the movie until I went to the IMDb page last weekend, and yeah, that's hopeful. He should be an awesome Blackbeard.

Sebastian said...


Kinda on-topic: I looked up Rostrum the other day -- you'll never guess the derivation. It comes from 'rostra' which were the ornate prows of ships back in old Roman times. The big platform in town where all the speaking was done would be decorated with these rostra from captured ships -- and thus it became the rostrum!

Eleni said...

Hmm, very interesting. Never would have guessed it.

Hezabelle said...

Oooh, cool!!

Eleni said...

I thought so :)

Now the Housemate needs to go to the bay to gather samples in a small boat, and he offered to take me along. But the ship has probably left the harbor by now, so it won't be there for me to get a close look :( Oh well.

Vanessa said...

I could only be more envious if you got to see Johnny Depp dressed as my favorite pirate ever! I'm not the screaming fan type, but I would totally treasure a pic with Jack Sparrow. Got all the movies at home.

Eleni said...

I know, a photo with Johnny Depp, or an autograph, would immediately become one of my prized possessions, but I'd probably be too petrified to ask for one if I saw him. Jack Sparrow is the best.