The franchise never explained the origins of comic relief duo Pintel and Ragetti in the movies, but their actors came up with an inventive backstory for the seldom-seen fan favorites. When was released in 2003, the period action-adventure movie was an unexpectedly huge hit. While hopes were high for the movie, the franchise outperformed even optimistic expectations and was popular with critics to boot, thanks to its clever script and mile-a-minute action.
However, the real trump card that the series boasted was a stellar ensemble cast. Much of the credit forl’s success went (deservedly) to Johnny Depp’s instantly iconic turn as , but there was not a weak link in the large cast. Even minor comic relief characters like MacKenzie Crook and Lee Arenberg’s Pintel and Ragetti got an opportunity to shine in the hit, with the duo soon proving to be audience favorites.
Although the comical pairing only appears in the first three movies of the series, their actors nonetheless still gave Pintel and Ragetti an in-depth backstory to help anchor their performances. Although this backstory has never been confirmed as canon, it influenced their performances and helped the duo balance their love-hate chemistry throughout their three onscreen appearances. So, as rumors of a continue to gain ground, there is no better time to ask why Crook and Arenberg’s beloved pair were not seen onscreen in the last two franchise outings, and whether viewers of the series will ever see Pintel and Ragetti again.
The role of Pintel and Ragetti changed between movies, with the two characters being comical, but still threatening, villains in the first film and becoming harmless, purely comic relief figures by the sequel. This is because the darker sequels introduced more threatening villains, turning the once-spooky Pintel and Ragetti into comparative sweethearts. The two are introduced early on in , briefly threatening Elizabeth Swan at the beginning of the movie. They reappear throughout the action and just about escape with their lives at the end, allowing them to appear in the next two sequels as side characters who offer asides to the audience. Throughout t and , Pintel and Ragetti play all sides of the central conspiracy off one another while also offering some sly, self-parodic commentary on just how convoluted the original trilogy’s overarching plot had by then become.
While the pair put in an appearance in each movie until 2007’s , they were never given an onscreen backstory or a chance to explain their origins in dialogue. According to Crook and Arenberg, though, the actors worked out a backstory for Pintel and Ragetti between them to get into character. The actors say that Pintel is Ragetti’s uncle, charged with his care after his pirate father died at sea. This explained the pair’s connection and why they are so often found working together, despite piracy being a cut-throat industry where duplicitous dealings and double-crossing were commonplace. This familial bond ensured that Pintel and Ragetti’s double act survives all three movies they appear in together, although the question of whether it counts as official canon is a trickier proposition.
Much as it will let down many who love the , Pintel and Ragetti’s backstory is likely not considered to be franchise canon, as the actors came up with the idea themselves. However, although the story is yet to appear in any spinoff media or the movies proper, this backstory may still become canon in a future installment or spinoff. The idea of Ragetti being Pintel’s nephew has never been contradicted by the series, meaning the franchise could still confirm the familiar connection if the duo appears together in a future installment - however, whether this is likely to happen is also a hard question to answer.
It is very hard to know whether Pintel & Ragetti will appear in any , as the actors have said they would love to reprise their roles but were also repeatedly teased as part of earlier sequels via cameos that never came to fruition. On the one hand, the fan-favorite duo originally had a planned subplot of their own in , with Pintel and Ragetti ending up fighting for two separate sides throughout the movie and eventually being reunited during the climactic battle sequence. The existence of this extended cameo in the sequel’s early draft proves that the screenwriters of the series maintain an affection for the characters and would like to see more of them, something a lot of the franchise's audience seems to agree with.
On the other hand, this cameo was vetoed due to time constraints by director Rob Marshall, and neither character appeared in the later, even more critically disliked sequel . This was, however, due to scheduling conflicts on the part of Crook, and as such, there is no knowing if the pair would have appeared had this issue not arisen. It is hard to tell whether Pintel and Ragetti’s franchise screen time will be limited to their original trilogy appearances, or if the duo could earn another cameo (or even a spinoff of their own) in the future. With the characters being beloved by the audience, but their time off-screen increasing by the year, only time will tell which path the filmmakers take. However, the fact that a new reboot would be likely to drop most of the recurring characters of the franchise to give its creators a fresh creative start could mean it is likely the end of the road for the comedic pairing.