Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (released overseas as Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge) is a 2017 American fantasy film and the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and the sequel to On Stranger Tides (2011). The film is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg from a script by Jeff Nathanson, with Jerry Bruckheimer serving again as producer. Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally and Geoffrey Rush reprise their roles as Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs and Hector Barbossa, respectively, while Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario join the cast as Armando Salazar, Henry Turner and Carina Smyth. The film also features the returns of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, following their absence from the previous film.
The filmmakers cited the series’ first installment, The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), as inspiration for the script and tone of the film. Pre-production for the film started shortly before On Stranger Tides was released in early 2011, with Terry Rossio writing a script for the film. In early 2013, Jeff Nathanson was hired to write a new script, with Depp being involved in Nathanson’s writing process. Initially planned for a 2015 release, the film was delayed to 2016 and then to 2017, due to script and budget issues. Principal photography started in Australia in February 2015, after the Australian government offered Disney $20 million in tax incentives, and ended in July 2015.
Dead Men Tell No Tales was released in conventional, Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats on May 26, 2017, ten years after release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007). The film received criticism for its complicated and convoluted plot, however the performances, visuals, music and shorter running time were praised; some critics considered the film an improvement over its predecessor, while others felt the franchise had run its course. It has grossed over $767 million worldwide, making it the fifth highest-grossing film of 2017.
Two years following the post-credits scene of At World’s End, 12-year old Henry Turner boards the Flying Dutchman to inform his father, Will Turner, that the mythical Trident of Poseidon is able to break his curse and free him from his ship, and of his intent to seek Jack Sparrow’s help to find it. Will does not believe the Trident exists and orders Henry to leave his ship and never come back.
Nine years later (and five after the events of On Stranger Tides), Henry works on a British Royal Navy warship. While chasing a pirate ship, Henry realizes they are sailing into the Devil’s Triangle. The captain dismisses his concerns and has Henry locked up for attempting mutiny. Upon entering the Triangle, they come across a shipwreck, and are attacked by Captain Salazar and his undead crew, who slaughter everyone on board except Henry. Salazar sees that Henry is searching for Jack, spares his life and asks him to tell Jack that death is coming his way.
In Saint Martin, a young woman named Carina Smyth has been sentenced to death for witchcraft because of her knowledge of astronomy and horology. She escapes her cell and briefly runs into Jack, who is fleeing with his crew with a vault from a bank they have just robbed. Jack and his crew evade the British Army, but realize the vault they stole is empty; Jack’s crew abandons him for letting them down. Carina later meets Henry, who is awaiting execution for his actions aboard the ship, and says she knows of a way to find the Trident. Carina helps him escape, but is caught by the British Army.
Disheartened after losing his crew, Jack goes to a local tavern and gives away his compass to pay for his drink. By forsaking the compass, however, he unwittingly unleashes Salazar and his crew from the Devil’s Triangle. Shortly after, Jack is caught by the British Army. As he and Carina are about to be executed, Henry helps them escape with help from Jack’s crew, and together they sail away on Jack’s ship, the Dying Gull. Carina reveals a map that will lead them to the Trident, and reluctantly decides to team up with Henry and Jack in order to achieve their goals. While searching for Jack, Salazar and his crew roam the seas and destroy ships in Captain Barbossa’s fleet. Barbossa meets with Salazar and offers to help find Jack in exchange for sparing his fleet. Salazar explains to Barbossa that he and his crew once sailed the seas hunting and killing pirates, and had nearly cleansed the seas of piracy before they ran into a young Jack Sparrow, who tricked them into sailing into the Devil’s Triangle, where Salazar and his crew were cursed to remain undead.
When Salazar’s ship finds the Dying Gull, Jack, Henry and Carina escape on a rowboat while the crew remains on board to cause a distraction. Salazar and his crew chase Jack, but upon arriving at a small island, Jack realizes Salazar’s ghost crew can’t step on land. Barbossa arrives at the island and allies with Jack, restoring the Black Pearl, which had been trapped in a bottle in Jack’s possession, to its original size. With Jack’s compass, which he obtained from the sea-witch Shansa, Barbossa takes command of the ship and lets Carina navigate them to the island. During the trip, Jack and Barbossa realize that Carina is Barbossa’s long lost daughter. Barbossa tells Jack that he left her at an orphanage with his diary to make sure she lived a better life, never imagining that he would see her again.
The Pearl narrowly escapes a British Navy warship, which is destroyed by Salazar’s ship. Jack and Salazar’s crews clash. Meanwhile, Jack and Carina manage to activate the island’s magic, which parts the ocean to reveal a hidden path along the ocean floor. Salazar captures Henry and possesses his body to pursue them. Jack and Carina locate the trident, but Salazar intervenes, fighting Jack and seizing the Trident. Henry, now free of Salazar, realizes that destroying the Trident will break all curses upon the sea and shatters it, returning Salazar and his crew to life. As the divided sea slowly caves in, the Pearl attempts to rescue Jack, Henry, Carina, and Barbossa, lowering the ship’s anchor into the narrowing trench to pull them to safety, but—still intent on killing Jack—Salazar grabs the anchor as well. Carina notices a tattoo on Barbossa’s arm, matching the cover of her diary, and realizes that he is her father. After proclaiming his love for her, Barbossa sacrifices himself to take down Salazar and his crew and save Carina and the others. Following Barbossa’s death, Carina changes her last name to Barbossa.
Some time later, Henry is joined by Carina, as they watch his father finally set foot on land again, no longer bound to the Flying Dutchman. As Henry and Carina kiss, Will is reunited with his wife Elizabeth. Watching from the deck of the Pearl, Jack sails away with his crew, opening up his mystical compass to reveal their next heading.
In a post-credits scene, Will and Elizabeth are asleep when their bedroom is entered by the silhouette of an apparently resurrected Davy Jones. Just as Jones raises his clawed arm to strike at the couple, Will awakens and assumes this to be a nightmare, oblivious to the presence of barnacles on the floor amid a small puddle of seawater.
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
Pirates of the Caribbean
by Walt Disney
by Ted Elliott
Kevin R. McNally
Music by Geoff Zanelli
Cinematography Paul Cameron
Leigh Folsom Boyd
Walt Disney Pictures
Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
May 11, 2017 (Shanghai)
May 26, 2017 (United States)
Country United States
Budget $230 million
Box office $767.3 million