You've memorized the lines from the first two flicks, dusted off your eye patch and asked your mom to feed your pet parrot Orlando while you wait in line. But are you really ready to head to the theater for "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"?
With help from the cast and crew of the third swashbuckling film, we've assembled this spoiler-free guide to the trivia you need to know to fully appreciate the movie that you (and a few dozen million of your closest friends) will be watching this weekend.
The Devil Is in the Details "The fans will pick up on lots of little details," trilogy director Gore Verbinski said of the bread crumbs he's planted. "They'll be nudging each other and saying, 'Isn't that the sword Will gave to Norrington in the first movie?' [Watch for] the origin of Ragetti's eye, the reason behind the brand on Jack Sparrow's wrist and why Davy Jones cut out his heart."
Bloom's Blue Balls For a scene in which crabs fall from the sky, Verbinski used blue plastic balls, expecting to paint over them later with CGI. The only problem was that the exhausted cast, on day 252 of filming, ruined several takes by doing exactly what any 6-year-old in a McDonald's Play Place pit would do with hundreds of colored balls. "Seeing Orlando Bloom fling a ball at Geoffrey Rush — that's unique," stunt coordinator George Marshall Ruge laughed. "It was like, 'Is it time for the parents to come and pick up the kids?' "
It Ain't Over Till It's Over Like the two previous installments of the franchise, "At World's End" concludes with extra goodness after the end titles. So feel free to laugh at your unaware filmgoing brethren as they scamper out to the parking lot, because the final scene of "World's" will reward you with a significant plot point that they'll miss. "There's a wonderful little surprise at the end of the credits," producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed. "Like we did with all our films, but this one's an even bigger surprise."
At Walt's End The "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction at Disneyland was the last one Walt Disney had a personal hand in creating. The ride was renovated last year to reflect the movies. Three Johnny Depp animatronics were added, but not a single Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley.
Can Sparrow Beat Spidey Again? "Dead Man's Chest" broke the record for biggest U.S. box-office weekend, taking the title away from the original "Spider-Man." The web-slinger recently struck back with the massive opening of "Spider-Man 3" (see " 'Spider-Man 3' Busts Box-Office Records With Amazing Opening Weekend"), but many expect Depp to prove once again that he's a bigger threat to Peter Parker than even Venom.
Tears of a Clown If you enjoy "World's," be sure to write a letter of thanks to Bill Nighy, the British Golden Globe winner who went to painful lengths to become Davy Jones. "They put you in a pair of very sad pajamas and cover you in white spots," Nighy said of his appearance on-set. "You look like a sad clown. Then they show you drawings of the scariest creature on the ocean waves and say, 'Action!' "
Monkey Business Jack, the scene-stealing pirate monkey, is actually played by two simian thespians named Chiquita and Pablo. "One monkey is a girl," Tom Hollander (Lord Cutler Beckett) said of Chiquita. "It's a fantastic cross-dressing experiment." Make sure you pay attention to the explosive Singapore scene in which Jack touches the candle to the wick: It took Chiquita and Pablo 66 takes before they finally got it right.
Settle in With Some Popcorn, a Soda ... and a Notebook The "Pirates" series includes (and in most cases, resolves) no less than 15 major plotlines, making "Doctor Zhivago" look like "Son of the Mask."
Shove Me in the Shallow Water The "harbor" surrounding the Singapore set that opens "World's" was only three feet deep. Stuntmen took falls from as high as 14 feet into the dangerous drink (see " 'Pirates' Of Singapore? Details From Un-Caribbean 'At World's End' Set").
Flipping the Bird The talkative "Pirates" parrot spent so much time around Verbinski that it picked up the oft-repeated command of the harried filmmaker. "He trained the parrot to go, 'Shoot now!' " laughed Reggie Lee, one of the Singapore pirates. "We had to keep it moving, keep it moving. [We'd hear the bird and] Gore Verbinski, both saying, 'Shoot now!' "
It's Only Rock and Roll After filming his cameo as Jack Sparrow's dad, Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards insisted on keeping his costume, as well as the personalized chair in which his character is seen strumming a guitar.
This Ain't No Indie The climactic maelstrom sequence required 2,000 feet of hydraulic hose, 25,000 gallons of water per minute, 150 special-effects welders to craft the boats and enough power to light 500 homes. It was filmed 60 miles north of Hollywood, in a 70-foot-tall hangar that recently served as the entire airport in Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal."
No Small Feat Diminutive actor Martin Klebba might just be the most badass pirate in the cast. "All I can say is, I'm the only guy who does all his own stunts in the movie," bragged the 4-foot-1-inch actor, who launches himself from a cannon in "World's." "It's me alone, all the way through."
Growing Pains The actress who plays Tia Dalma gets a huge scene in "World's," but it wasn't as fun as you might think. "Shooting the scene where I grow was very uncomfortable for me," recalled a grimacing Naomie Harris. "I was wearing 40 pounds of rope. I was really suffering for my art."
Will They Pay for Their Tickets? Last year, Depp and Bruckheimer went to dinner in Paris and waited for the box-office results to roll in. This weekend they'll continue their tradition but get a bit more hands-on. "This year we'll be back in L.A., on our way back from Japan," Bruckheimer revealed. "We'll be sharing martinis at dinner, then maybe go to a few theaters and stand at the back. Hopefully people will be applauding and laughing."
You Live by the Sword ... Watch closely for a well-traveled weapon that plays an important part in "At World's End." "When you saw the first 'Pirates,' Orlando was a blacksmith and was making this sword," Bruckheimer revealed. "This sword goes through all three movies, and it plays a big part in 'Pirates 3.' So watch for that sword."
Check out everything we've got on "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."
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