On this day in 2006, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, an adventure film starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, opens in theaters across America. The movie, the second in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, was part of a multi-billion dollar Disney franchise that included theme park rides, video games and books.
The first film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, premiered at California’s Disneyland theme park on June 28, 2003, and went on to become a surprise box-office hit and the recipient of five Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Johnny Depp. Curse of the Black Pearl, the first-ever Disney picture to earn a PG-13 rating, followed the adventures of the eccentric pirate captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) and the blacksmith Will Turner (Bloom) who rescue Elizabeth Swann (Knightley), Turner’s love and the daughter of a colonial governor, after she is kidnapped by the villainous Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) of the pirate ship The Black Pearl.
The second movie in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, featured the same three lead actors and the same director, Gore Verbinksi, whose previous credits included 2001’s The Mexican and 2002’s The Ring. Dead Man’s Chest was shot back-to-back with the third film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which was released in 2007. Dead Man’s Chest was a box-office success and garnered four Academy Award nominations; it won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. The third film, At World’s End, was one of the top-grossing films of 2007 and won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
Johnny Depp, who was born June 9, 1963, first rose to fame in the television series 21 Jump Street and later became known for his offbeat performances, including the title roles in Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Ed Wood (1994) and the role of Willie Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). In addition to Depp’s Best Actor Academy Award nomination for Curse of the Black Pearl, he received Oscar nominations for Finding Neverland (2004) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).