Join Date: Feb 2005
more on the boat...
Disney "Pirates" Ship Takes to the Seas
by Josh Grossberg
Oct 31, 2005, 2:30 PM PT
Heigh-ho, me hearties. That's no ghost ship ye see on the horizon--it's the Black Pearl.
The titular ship Johnny Depp helmed in 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl will be setting sail as the U.S. entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, a 31,250-mile, nine-leg sea race around the globe.
Disney has plunked down an estimated $15 million-$18 million in loot for the right to turn the 70-foot yacht into a floating billboard for the two upcoming Pirates sequels, which will reunite Depp with costars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.
The vessel, emblazoned with a skull and crossed scabbards logo, sets sail Nov. 12 in Vigo, Spain. The eight-month race is due to finish in Gothenburg, Sweden, on June 17, three weeks before the first seafaring follow-up, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, hits theaters on July 7--an occasion marked by the boat's number: 7706. The third film in the Pirates trifecta will arrive in summer 2007.
Donald Evans, vice president of marketing and promotions for Buena Vista International, Disney's international distribution arm, said race officials dreamed up the idea and approached the studio, which quickly signed on. The Mouse House's creative group immediately went to work on the design and the look of the boat.
"There's so much clutter out there tin terms of getting the consumer's attention and we felt that this was in organic fit," Evans tells E! Online.
"There are so many reasons to do this. One, it was the perfect marriage of sports and entertainment; the second is timing; and the third is…we needed something fresh [and] this race is the most innovative type of sailing available."
Evans even points out parallels between the movies and the race. One of the stars of the new Pirates, Stellan Skarsgard, is a Swede. The film's villain, played by Bill Nighy, pilots the Flying Dutchman, and the race features two Dutch boats.
But Captain Jack Sparrow is sitting this race out.
The Black Pearl, under the command of veteran skipper Paul Cayard, will hoist sails and take to the high seas the ol' fashioned way--without the use of an engine except for emergency purposes.
The 46-year-old captain, who's competed in the race several times, had no plans to return this year. But Disney's offer was too good to pass up, considering the PR boost it could give the pro-sailing world.
"The race is a fantastic experience," Cayard tells E! Online. "I decided this whole thing about being a pirate and promoting a film is a great opportunity for our sport to branch out."
Cayard also praised Mickey's minions for the design, which won't compromise performance. The Pirates graphics had to be on the sails and hull and not be too heavy or risk detracting from the sail's performance. Disney scuttled its original plans for black sails, which would have limited the crew's vision at night.
"We worked together on that and there was a give and take both ways," says Cayard. "They were very respectful of our needs as pro sailors and they want us to do well, and I think we came up with a really good representation of pirates in a very class modern way."
Asked whether he'll be shivering his timbers and dropping "aarghs" and "avasts" like a Central Casting buccaneer, Cayard demurs.
"My wife is pushing me on that, but so far we've been pretty focused on being the pro sailors we're supposed to be and we'll loosen up as we go," he says. "But it's good to be a pirate."
Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche