Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg talk ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg talk Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is now available on 4K Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD.  I sat down with directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg to discuss the film with them and what it was like working with Jack Sparrow himself Johnny Depp.

SM: How exciting was it to do this movie?

JR: On a scale from?

SM: From one to a hundred

ES: One to thirteen. *laughs*

JR: No of course, it’s a dream come true, for sure. You know, we grew up together. We’ve been making films together since we were like 10 years old, you know, and watching Hollywood adventure family movies and being very much inspired by those kind of movies. You know, Spielberg, Zemeckis, and Lucas kind of films that made us want to become film makers in the first place. And I think it’s very much in our blood actually. And, you know, also being fans of the franchise and loving the character of Jack Sparrow and Barbossa and all of that. And I think for us going into this it was important for us to analyze why we love it so much and then going … You know, we went back to the first movie in the franchise and trying to analyze what makes it what it is. And I think it’s a combination of things: it’s the spectacle and the adventure. It’s very funny. You know, it’s great comedy. It’s scary, you know, great scares. And most of all it’s got heart. And I think it’s that mix of elements that’s a huge part of the attraction for us at least.

SM: How did you come about giving everyone the perfect amount of screen time? I felt like in the previous two or three films, that was a struggle. In the first one they got it perfectly, but the last three kind of struggled with that. This one I felt that you had a great mixture of screen-time shared among the characters including the new ones. Was that part of the script, or was it something you guys worked on when directing?

ES: It was definitely part of the script, but it was also definitely part of what we’ve doing when we developed the script after we got on the project. Because, yeah, it is important and we did analyze the first one, like Joachim said, and one of the things that is interesting is that you have this young couple that are the leads and that are driving the story and they can have an arc. And sort of a serious, even though fantastical, pirate story there, and then Jack Sparrow crashed the party. And things happen. Weird things happen. But he doesn’t have an arc. So he’s the sort of the spice of the story.

JR: He learns nothing.

ES: *Laughs* He learns nothing. And in other movies, just the same. But we wanted to give something to the audience anyways, so we created this backstory about how Jack becomes Jack the Sparrow and in that we also tied in Salazar, to make sure that we had the villain and the conflict that was personal. So that was also a way to get the balance right.

SM: You both spoke very highly of Johnny Depp. What was he like working with?

ES: He was amazing.

JR: Yeah. It’s like, you know, he is a genius. At least he’s a comedic genius. And I think that for us, the mornings in his trailer, like working through the day’s scene and working on the comedy and the humor of it all, I mean that’s magic moments for us and it was hilarious. He’s very very funny and that is such a big part of him in Jack Sparrow and vice versa. So … No, we love working with him.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is now available on 4K Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray DVD, and Digital HD.

Written by
Born in New Jersey, Scott Menzel has been watching film and television since he was three years old. Growing up, he watched as many movies as he could and was highly influenced by the films of Tim Burton, John Hughes, Robert Zemeckis, and Steven Spielberg. Scott has an Associate's Degree in Marketing, a Bachelor's in Mass Media, Communications, and a Master's in Electronic Media. He has been writing film reviews under the alias of MovieManMenzel since 2003 and started his writing career as a contributing critic at and In 2009, Scott launched where he posted several of his film reviews but in 2011 decided to shut down the site when he launched We Live In 2015, We Live Film became We Live Entertainment. The domain name change occurred after months of debate but was done so that he and his fellow staff members could write about anything and everything in the world of entertainment.

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