It’s been six years since the last installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, On Stranger Tides, and so in modern Hollywood franchise years, it might as well have come out a generation ago. But given that the Pirates series has proven to be one of Disney’s biggest global cash cows (this, from the company that also owns Marvel and Star Wars), it was inevitable that the continued adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his various affiliates would grace us soon enough. And in that spirit, the first full trailer for the series’ fifth installment, Dead Men Tell No Tales, has arrived.
Dead Men Tell No Tales has been plagued by rumors throughout its troubled production, from the rash of reported injuries on set to the alleged $320 million price tag on the film, one said to have ballooned after the production went several weeks over schedule. It’s been a substantial investment for Disney, where the coffers run deep and the expectations are massive in a cinematic landscape where The Force Awakens stopped just shy of the $2 billion global mark. And it’s hard to say how interested domestic audiences remain, when only Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush remain from the first film’s cast. (There’s another face who’s been said to return in this new film, but we won’t spoil it here if the internet hasn’t done it for you already.) But Disney believes that Pirates can recapture some of its buzzy cachet from the mid-2000s, and so, here we are.
There’s a lot going on in the new trailer, from the continued introduction of Javier Bardem as the latest supernatural Big Bad to grace the franchise, Captain Salazar, to Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario’s debuts with the series. That’s to say nothing of the lavish special effects, whether seen in the big battles that have become a staple of the series, or Salazar’s eerie character designs. Whether it’ll get audiences excited enough about the Pirates movies to justify its massive price tag remains to be seen, but Dead Men Tell No Tales will sail into theaters on May 26th, just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend.
But before we’re done here, a quick aside: Hollywood. The de-aging CGI. We know Rogue One opened a very weird door, but that doesn’t make it obligatory for all other movies to start walking through it.