is a fantasy genre film that not only takes its viewers on an exciting sea voyage, but also makes an effort to introduce the audiences to the mystics of the ocean and the life of pirates. At the center of is the witty and cunning swashbuckling character of . Sparrow is portrayed as a character of infinite influence and an expert who indeed steals the limelight in every scene he's in. Naturally, Jack is arguably the main reason why audiences love this five-part franchise so much. That said, also introduces several other lovable and memorable characters like Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), and many more.
Though the cast in this franchise may seem near-perfect, fans of will be surprised to know that these actors were never the first intended choice for the characters they ended up playing. In light of hope for a , as reported by , here's a look at six actors who were almost cast in the franchise.
Will Turner provided the romantic edge to the overall action and fantasy of . And undoubtedly, did an impeccable job of portraying the character of blacksmith-turned-swordsman-turned-pirate. However, was the first choice for Will Turner. Law’s performance in put him in major contention, however, it was Bloom's turn as Legolas in that won casting directors over. That said, this rejection had a silver lining for Law, who went on to join films like and among many others.
It's true that Depp is Jack Sparrow, and no one could ever play him the way he does. However, during development of , was one of the big names swirling the role. Per , Disney was initially interested in casting McConaughey due to his resemblance to actor Burt Lancaster, who played the role of Capt. Vallo in the 1952 classic pirate movie
, known for his titular role in 1982’s , was the first casting choice for the character of Davy Jones. However, Grant was not the only name pitched for this role. Actors like Jim Broadbent and Christopher Walken were other contenders for the character. Nonetheless, Bill Nighy ended up playing the gnarly sea monster in the movies, which turned out for the best. All worked out for Grant, of course; in terms of Disney franchises, the actor went on to star in and the Disney+ MCU series (season 1).
Syrena is introduced as a mermaid of unfathomable importance in the plot of the fourth installment, . The character, as we know, was ultimately portrayed by Astrid Berges-Frisbey, but before she was cast, was in major contention. Fox, who was riding massively high on the fame of her character Mikaela in the franchise at the time of casting, made several public statements about her prospective role in the franchise, essentially expressing her interesting in joining the blockbuster series.
's could have easily been part of the franchise, but funnily enough, he rejected the role, saying to Entertainment Weekly (via ), “I didn't really fancy sitting in a hotel room in Los Angeles for nine weeks for two minutes on screen...I was offered a film in the U.S. starring Johnny Depp, but it was a small character part, and I thought, 'What's the point?'"
Another prospective name that made headlines for the role of William Turner was that of actor . However, during those days, Ledger was still finding his place in the industry and had performed in only few big-ticket projects like , and naturally making him less of a crowd-puller in theaters in the eyes of Disney. Due to such box-office politics, Bloom, who was pretty renowned for , was offered the role of Will Turner.