Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow on the cover of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY!

The May 18, 2007 issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY features a spectacular cover of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and a seven-page feature on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. The lavishly illustrated behind-the-scenes article, called “Days of Plunder,” was written by Josh Rottenberg and includes a full-page Q&A interview with Johnny Depp called “The Captain At Ease.” You can read the interview in its entirety on the Zone’s News & Views forum; many thanks to emma for posting it, and to sleepy for breaking the EW story. You can find a much larger scan of the EW cover on sleepy’s thread on News & Views.

What did the POTC pirates have to say about their work? Director Gore Verbinski drew his metaphor from another genre entirely: “It’s really a Western. It’s like The Wild Bunch or something.” And he speaks up for the virtues of the POTC films’ complex plots: “I don’t mind if people find it confusing. I don’t want to dumb it down to where it’s just processed cheese and you’re not thinking about it afterwards.” Writer Terry Rossio adds that the films are “designed for multiple viewings.” Bill Nighy, who plays Davy Jones, sees no reason to fret: “When you pass the $1.1 billion mark, you start to suspect that you must be doing something right.” And how did Captain Jack Sparrow feel about DEAD MAN’S CHEST’s astonishing worldwide popularity? “These numbers kept coming in, and none of them made sense to me,” Johnny tells Rottenberg. “The only thing I did notice was that they kept getting larger.”

The article concludes with the inevitable speculation that AT WORLD’S END might not, in fact, be the end of the PIRATES franchise. Might there be a POTC 4? The ever-cagey Jerry Bruckheimer, master of tantalizing the audience, suggests that moviegoers might want to stay clear to the end of the credits of AT WORLD’S END, for a hint of what the future might hold. “There’s something we show you as they drift away,what the next adventure could be,” promises Jerry B. –Part-Time Poet

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