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Elliott & Rossio on 'POTC: AWE' and more - 12/6/06


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  • Elliott & Rossio on 'POTC: AWE' and more - 12/6/06

    EXCL: The Swashbucklin' Pirates Writers!

    Source: Edward Douglas
    December 6, 2006

    If there was such thing as the Midas touch in Hollywood, then screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio certainly have figured out how to apply it to moviemaking. After writing the screenplay for Disney's hugely successful animated film Aladdin in the early '90s, they revived the swashbuckler genre with The Mask of Zorro in 1998, then went on to co-write the original Shrek a few years later.

    When their Disney animated film Treasure Planet failed to find success, one would think they would get as far away from pirates as they possibly could. Instead, they wrote the screenplay for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl, a pretty gutsy move considering how poorly previous pirate films had done, and this one was loosely based on a Disney theme park ride!

    The rest, as they say, is history, and five months after that hit movie's sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest set all sorts of records, becoming the biggest movie of 2006 and the sixth highest-grossing movies of all time, it's finally out on DVD. talked to the two guys as they put the finishing touches on the third part of their trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, which comes out next summer.

    CS: Having written the last two movies at the same time, does "At Worlds End" have a different tone than "Dead Man's Chest" or is it literally a continuation of where the last one left off?
    Elliott: We have actually tried to make sure that each of the three had its own identity. It would have been easier probably to simply remake "Curse of the Black Pearl" twice, but we actually wanted to insure that the movies had their own identities in of themselves, their own stories. 2 we went a little bit more comedic, broad comedic, because we were going to a far darker place with the characters, and 3, I think has… "At Worlds End" is a fairly apt title. There is sort of the idea of the end of an era, the Golden Age of Piracy coming to a close.
    Rossio: I have to give a lot of credit to the studio in terms of the willingness to take risks, because these films are hugely expensive. In the case of "Dead Man's Chest," it wasn't repeating the formula, it was being something different. Gore will not shoot the same movie twice and Johnny will not give the same performance twice, they just won't, and that takes an enormous amount of trust on the part of the studio, creatively and artistically, to believe that something that is different will also work.
    Elliott: Well, we're more than willing to write the same movie over and over.
    Rossio: And certainly, "At Worlds End," the tone is actually different. Like Ted said, there's an epic end of the era [feel to it].

    CS: I thought it was interesting that you guys wrote for a lot of animated films, and you've maintained some of the same genres between animated and live action movies like "Road to El Dorado" and Zorro, and "Treasure Planet" and the Pirates movies.
    Rossio: Actually, I think Zorro preceded "El Dorado." There are certain stories we like telling, certain genres. One of the things about animation that we really enjoyed is that it really is so story-driven in a way that live action movies aren't. Live action movies a lot of times you can have the actor, simply seeing that person on screen being charming, can carry a lot of the film, but with animated films, it's all focused on the story. And so, it's a great place if you want to tell stories, that was what attracted us to it.

    CS: With that in mind, would you guys ever consider writing a live-action Aladdin movie, a similar big scale movie, as opposed to a family animated comedy?
    Elliott: Well, wait, isn't Pirates a similar scale? I hadn't really thought about it. To some extent, you feel like, "Oh, yeah…but no, we told that story." Where's the Broadway musical of Aladdin? What's the deal there, Disney, come on!

    CS: I guess they haven't gotten to it yet, and they have to do the Broadway musical of Pirates first. You know it will happen.
    Elliott: (laughs)

    CS: Is there anything extra on the DVD of "Dead Man's Chest" that we all should be looking forward to?
    Elliott: The one I'm actually looking forward to is how ILM realized Davey Jones and the Dutchman crew, because I think there are still people out there who are convinced that was prosthetics. To actually see that process and to see how Bill Nighy created that performance, it's amazing.

    CS: There's already a lot of talk about fourth movie. Is that something you'd want to be involved with or is "At Worlds End" the end of the story you both wanted to tell?
    Elliott: In all honesty, I heard that talk, too, but right now, we're just kind of looking forward to having finished these two. No dissembling there. "Okay, is it okay if we finish shooting the third one before we start thinking about the fourth one?"
    Rossio: People will always talk about whatever they want, but there's no guarantee of a fourth film. There's forces in play that would hopefully make it happen, there are forces in play that could prevent it. It's quite possible that "At Worlds End" will be it. I guess it's like talk of the next Indiana Jones movie for so long. I'm sure there'll always be speculation, but for right now, this trilogy is designed to come to a conclusion.
    [/quote]full article at
    Last edited by ALIASd; 12-06-2006, 03:23 PM.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: Elliott &amp; Rossio on 'POTC: AWE' and more - 12/6/06

    Pirates is successful in SPITE of their writing... I really would have liked to see another suppording female character developed to back up, Elizabeth's lead. It would have drawn her character out more.
    Check out my other blog:


    • #3
      Re: Elliott &amp; Rossio on 'POTC: AWE' and more - 12/6/06

      12:00 AM, 06-DECEMBER-06

      Pirates 3 Ends Big

      By Cindy White
      Sci Fi Channel

      Terry Rossio, co-writer of the Pirates of the Caribbean film trilogy, told SCI FI Wire that the upcoming third and final film, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, will have a grand finale that sends the franchise off in an epic manner. "The most difficult thing about writing a trilogy is coming up with the climactic ending of the trilogy," Rossio said in an interview on Dec. 5 to promote that day's DVD release of the second film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. "So for that third film, you have not only the usual challenges of coming up with an ending, but somehow you have to have the ending of all endings."

      The third film finds Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) joining forces with Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to save Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from a watery grave. Part of the film was shot simultaneously with the second on location in the Caribbean, but production is scheduled to continue until early 2007. Rossio said that the cast and crew are already starting to feel wistful about the conclusion of the franchise.

      "The one thing for me that's unique about At Worlds End is that there's a sense of finality to it," Rossio said. "Everybody on set feels it as we're winding down shooting. This is a giant, epic fantasy trilogy, and it's coming to a close. There's resolution to the characters. It is that sort of culmination of the storyline. It's coming to a climax. What couldn't be there in Dead Man's Chest is present in At Worlds End. And that's kind of interesting." At Worlds End is set to open Memorial Day weekend 2007.
      Last edited by ALIASd; 12-07-2006, 10:08 AM.
      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


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