As is now relatively commonplace, the first teaser trailer for a major summer blockbuster is debuting not attached to a related movie or online but rather during a geek-friendly television show. And as such, we now have our first preview for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales debuting during the season finale of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. This will be the fifth “Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow” adventure since 2003 and the first installment since On Stranger Tides in May of 2011.
The most interesting thing about this trailer is that A) it offers a grim, dark, and moody look as opposed to a more buoyant and comic sell and B) it features no Jack Sparrow whatsoever. Instead, it is a grim, violent tease which climaxes with the reveal of our major villain, played by Javier Bardem, who is hunting Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow for reasons not yet revealed.
It’s obviously an announcement teaser, but it is rooted in the notion that merely the idea of Jack Sparrow showing up eventually is enough to get audiences interested. Moreover, it offers a proceeding 75-seconds or so that are intriguing and engaging enough to audiences sans knowledge of what movie is being sold. I wonder if we’ll start seeing a #WheresJack hashtag on Twitter over the next forty-eight hours.
You might ask why we’re getting a fifth Pirates of the Caribbeaninstallment, especially as the franchise is one of those films that gets tossed in the “first one great but the sequels stunk” box. Now to be fair, I can and will defend all three Gore Verbinski films with every breath in my body. But yeah, Rob Marshall’s On Stranger Tides is every bit as bad as it reputation suggests.