In the wake of this week’s action-packed, and humor-filled, second trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Disney now turns its thoughts to romance — specifically, the one between the movie’s idealistic missionary and mysterious mermaid.
Played by Sam Claflin and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, the two had been largely ignored in the studio’s marketing efforts until now (I didn’t even know the character’s names — Philip Swift and Syrena — until now). But, hey, they’re sharing the screen with the likes of Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush and Ian McShane, so it’s understandable that they’d be pushed into the background.
Now, however, Disney has released five new stills from the film, four of which center on our young star-crossed lovers — aka the replacements for Kiera Knightley and Orlando Bloom — plus brief character biographies, which is how I knew their names.
Directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens May 20.
CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW (Johnny Depp) – Captain of the Black Pearl, taken from him by rival pirate Hector Barbossa, now engaged in a search for the Fountain of Youth.
A legendary pirate of the Seven Seas, Captain Jack Sparrow is the irreverent trickster of the Caribbean. A captain of equally dubious morality and sobriety, a master of self-promotion and self-interest, he fights a constant and losing battle with his own best tendencies. Jack Sparrow’s first love is the sea, his second his beloved ship the Black Pearl, whether it be lost or found, or lost again. Having battled the cursed Captain Hector Barbossa, the fearsome Davy Jones and the evil Lord Cutler Beckett in previous adventures, Captain Jack must now contend with the notorious Captain Blackbeard, and perhaps even more terrifying, the beautiful Angelica, a lady with a past as checkered as Jack’s own.
ANGELICA (Penélope Cruz) – With Blackbeard and Jack Sparrow in her life, it’s no wonder beautiful Angelica is a pirate dangerous to match swords with, let alone hearts.
A woman who tells lies that are truths and truths that are lies, Angelica may or may not be the daughter of the feared Blackbeard himself. A master of disguises, she learned the art of the con from the best, one Captain Jack Sparrow. An accomplished sailor who can wield a sword, fight and plunder with the fiercest of pirates, Angelica is hell-bent on one goal: to save the eternal soul of Blackbeard from certain damnation, even if it means matching Captain Jack lie for lie and double cross for double cross.
HECTOR BARBOSSA (Geoffrey Rush) – Once a ferocious pirate and deadly enemy of Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa enters an uneasy alliance with his rival in a race to the Fountain of Youth.
Hector Barbossa, a vile pirate returned from the dead, is the ultimate survivor. Having lost his leg—and the Black Pearl—Barbossa has traded black and silver for the grand blue and gold uniform of His Majesty’s Royal Navy. Now serving as a privateer and commanding the Providence under the Union Jack rather than the Jolly Roger, Barbossa claims to owe his allegiance to King and Country. But is it valor or revenge that pushes Barbossa toward the Fountain of Youth, a rendezvous with Captain Jack, Blackbeard and destiny?
BLACKBEARD (Ian McShane) – The blackest soul and the darkest heart of any pirate who ever lived, striking fear into the bravest of sailors.
Blackbeard, a name uttered in terror by all who sail the sea, or any unfortunate enough to encounter him on dry land. His flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, is manned by zombies, festooned with the bones of his victims and spits fire from its bow to incinerate enemy ships, or the occasional crew member fallen out of favor. Blackbeard dabbles in the Black Arts and wields a sword imbedded with one of the three sapphires of Triton. But Blackbeard lives under the shadow of a prophesied death, his only hope the restorative waters of the Fountain of Youth. Whatever it takes, no matter who is crushed beneath the weight of his heartless ambition, Blackbeard will get there, by any possible means.
JOSHAMEE GIBBS (Kevin R. McNally) Teller of tales, handy with a bottle, this veteran sea salt is truly a skillful sailor who cleverly navigates his way through many deadly situations.
Once a sailor in His Majesty’s Royal Navy, then an enthusiastic pirate, Joshamee Gibbs is Jack Sparrow’s most trusted friend. Gibbs is a man who knows his way across every ocean, and into every pub. He possesses an endless capacity to forgive, necessary when you sail with Captain Jack, but himself lives by the Code, and is willing to leave Jack behind if necessary. In a case of mistaken identity, Gibbs finds himself condemned to hang. His only option: to sail under Hector Barbossa on the Providence and navigate to the Fountain of Youth—a destination also sought by Captain Jack, Blackbeard, Angelica and the entire Navies of both Great Britain and Spain.
SYRENA (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) – A beautiful, enigmatic mermaid who swims against the tide of her more lethally-minded sisters of the sea.
Mystery surrounds the mermaid Syrena, even down to her true name, for “Syrena” is only what she’s called by missionary Philip Swift during her captivity by Blackbeard. After her fellow mermaids attack Blackbeard’s crew at Whitecap Bay, Syrena and Philip begin to recognize a quality in each other that draws them together, allowing them to become allies against a common enemy in Blackbeard. Each discover more of their true beings, but risk their lives when they listen to the sounds of their hearts.
PHILIP SWIFT (Sam Claflin) – Idealistic, courageous and fearless, this missionary defies even Blackbeard in an attempt to rescue the terrible pirate’s soul.
Philip Swift is on a mission completely unlike the pirates, scalawags, kings and sailors all in pursuit of the Fountain of Youth. His is a mission of salvation, and even when taken prisoner by Blackbeard and ruthlessly tortured, Philip’s spirit remains unbroken. But something stirs inside of his heart as well as his soul when he encounters the mermaid he calls Syrena on the quest for the Fountain of Youth—feelings which prove that the path to real deliverance may lie beyond the Good Book he carries with him.
SCRUM (Stephen Graham) – A crafty, mandola-playing pirate, Scrum shows Jack the ropes aboard the “Queen Anne’s Revenge.”
If brains were the true measure of a man, Scrum would be even more diminutive than he already is. Hardly the sharpest sword in the scabbard, Scrum makes up for his dull edge with a natural-born talent for music, and duplicity. Scrum is torn between duty to Angelica and his admiration for Captain Jack. A scurvy little soul, Scrum betrays a weakness for those scintillating sirens of the sea, mermaids.
Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in an action-packed adventure. Crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica (Penelope Cruz), he’s not sure if it’s love — or if she’s a ruthless con artist who’s using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past. The international cast includes franchise vets Geoffrey Rush as the vengeful Captain Hector Barbossa and Kevin R. McNally as Captain Jack’s longtime comrade Joshamee Gibbs, plus Sam Claflin as a stalwart missionary and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as a mysterious mermaid. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds himself on an unexpected journey to the fabled Fountain of Youth when a woman from his past (Penelope Cruz) forces him aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane).
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