“A hero will rise . . . Johnny Depp [in] PIRATES 3–Massive AT WORLD’S END world exclusive!” trumpets the cover of the June 2007 issue of the UK’s EMPIRE Magazine. Actually, it’s one of three covers, as other versions of the issue feature Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, but of course we are partial to the cover with Captain Jack Sparrow. The inside feature, “Anchor Man” by Ian Nathan, is a long and fascinating interview with director Gore Verbinski, in many ways the unsung hero of the POTC franchise. The article is 10 pages long and lavishly illustrated with large behind-the-scenes photos.

“My nerves are rattled, just as anybody else’s would be doing this,” admits Verbinski, as he prepares to pilot the final film of the trilogy into theaters around the world this month. “My fingers are crossed, knocking on wood, hoping everybody really likes it.” Still, he hopes to be able to deliver the jolt–and the pleasure–of genuine surprise. “I’m hoping to make it not what people expect. [Make] them leave the theater saying, ‘Well, that is not at all what I thought [would happen], but I really liked it.'” Adds Verbinski, “The hardest part is remaining inspired. [. . . Y]ou don’t want to be ordinary.” And while smooth sailing behind-the-scenes is much to be desired, the director doesn’t want smooth sailing for his characters on screen. “You’re always in pursuit of the awkward moment,” he confides, “and when you find it, celebrate it!”

The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl for posting the news on the News & Views forum, and In-too-Depp for sharing scans of the article. –Part-Time Poet

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