'Pirates of the Caribbean' Villains: A Guide to Jack Sparrow's 5 Biggest Foes

8:30 AM 5/24/2017

by Kara Haar

Pirate favorites face off against new villains in the latest film of the franchise, which hits theaters May 26.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and William Turner (Orlando Bloom) return to sword fighting and rum drinking in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. In the fifth film in Disney's franchise, Sparrow will search for the trident of Poseidon and face off against nemesis Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem).

A quick primer for those unfamiliar with the Pirates films: Based on a Disney theme park ride, the movies take place in a 17th-century setting ruled by the British Empire, the Spanish Empire and the East India Company. The first three films follow the adventures and mysteries of Turner, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Sparrow in the Caribbean waters. Along the way, the pirates come across curses that need to be broken, treasures that need to be stolen and villains that need to be overthrown.



From Captain Barbossa’s (Geoffrey Rush) skeleton crew to the octopus tentacles on the face of Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), the villains in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are rather creepy. Ahead of Dead Men Tell No Tales' May 26 release in theaters, The Hollywood Reporter takes a closer look at the main villains in the five-part franchise. (Warning: Some spoilers ahead.)

  • Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa

    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

    Dave Hogan/Getty Images; Walt Disney Pictures/Photofest

    With the help of Captain Jack Sparrow, William Turner must save the love of his life, Elizabeth Swann, who was captured by Captain Barbossa and his crew. As Jack and Will chase Barbossa’s ship, The Black Pearl, they soon realize the crew is under an ancient curse that turns them to skeletons when the moonlight hits.

    Barbossa and his crew cannot live or die until their blood sacrifice is made over a collection of Aztec gold coins. However, one of their crew members is missing: "Bootstrap" Bill Turner was left at sea. Barbossa is determined to spill Elizabeth’s blood in the hopes she is Bill’s daughter. Will, the real son of Bill, knows he is the only one who can save her and break the curse.

    In the sequels following Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Captain Barbossa returns and allies with Captain Jack Sparrow and William Turner.

    Geoffrey Rush takes the role as Barbossa in the each of the five films.

    "You have to rough up the skin, stick on the beard, put on the wig — and then you put on his clothes once you're ready,” Rush told The Mouse Castle of how he gets into character. “You slowly build up to Barbossa, which is great for getting into character. However, I always feel that the hat completes everything. Once the hat goes on, I enter into the spirit of it and I truly become Barbossa."

  • Bill Nighy as Davy Jones

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006); Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2017)

    Karwai Tang/WireImage; Buena Vista Pictures/Photofest

    Davy Jones is the captain of ghostly ship the Flying Dutchman. He was granted immortality by the love of his life, Calypso, but can step foot on land only once every 10 years. Jones holds the souls of all pirates who die at sea.

    Calypso promised to meet Jones after 10 years but failed to show up. As a result, Jones cut his own heart out and buried it in a chest that Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Lord Cutler Beckett wish to obtain.

    Jones also controls the Kraken, a sea monster that destroys ships at sea. His crew is comprised of dying sailors who are promised to live again after 100 years of working on the Flying Dutchman.

    When filming, Nighy wore a gray suit and makeup but his physical appearance is entirely 3D generated by computers. He has moving tentacles as a beard and crab-like claws for a hand and leg.

    “You wear deeply unsettling trousers, which are quite tough to wear. Trust me, especially when you’re surrounded by people like Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp who look so glamorous in their terrific pirate costumes,” Nighy told Chud.com. “You have dots on your face and you have dots all over your track suit thing. It takes a couple of days to get used to it.”

    “But finally you have to remember you’re going to have an octopus growing out of your chin and one of your legs is a crab leg and one of your hands is a claw. So the size of your performance and the tone of your performance is informed by that. It’s a unique thing. I never engaged in this kind of thing before, so there is an awareness of that.”

  • Tom Hollander as Lord Cutler Beckett

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006); Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)

    David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images; Peter Mountain/Buena Vista Pictures/Photofest

    Beckett makes his first appearance in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest as the chairmen of the East India Trading Company. He holds the warrants of arrests for Elizabeth Swann, William Turner and James Norrington but makes a deal with Will for a pardon. Will must bring him a compass of Captain Jack Sparrow that leads the person holding it to the thing they desire most. Beckett hopes the compass will lead him to the chest of Davy Jones.

    In the third film, Beckett returns as an enemy, wanting to to kill Jack Sparrow while controlling the Flying Dutchman.

    Tom Hollander plays Lord Cutler Beckett in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. He told IndieLondon.com what the experience as like jumping into a franchise on the second film.

    “We were, in a sense, getting a free ride on something that was already hugely successful,” Hollander said. “The sense that we were the new elements so that if it didn’t work we might have been blamed in some way was a worry but any sense of exclusion that I had from not being part of the original gang was fuel for my character which, as you can see from the film, has no place in the gang. Being ostracized in that way just helped me be nasty. That worked, though as the months drew on I did just become desperately lonely!”

  • Ian Shane as Blackbeard

    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

    Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

    Blackbeard, or Captain Edward Teach, is the main villain in the fourth installment, titled Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He wishes to claim the Fountain of Youth for himself but must find Captain Jack Sparrow as he knows Sparrow has been there before. Blackbeard sends his daughter, Angelica, to seek Sparrow so he can restore his youth and gain immortality.

    Ian Shane plays Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; the pirate is known for his long black beard, hence the name. He told HollywoodStreams he is very lucky to be a part of the franchise.

    “That was a process every day. It starts in the morning, you walk in there, you get the costume on, you get the beard, the character comes, and then you get out there,” Shane said. “It was great. I can’t tell you what a great time I had.”

  • Javier Bardem as Captain Armando Salazar

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Tales (2017)

    Steve Granitz/WireImage; Disney Enterprises, Inc.

    Captain Salazar, Spanish pirate hunter and the captain of the Silent Mary, wishes to kill every pirate at sea, including old rival Captain Jack Sparrow. In the past, Salazar terrorized the Seven Seas and murdered thousands of pirates, but Sparrow escaped and survived. Sparrow led him to Devil’s Triangle, where Salazar died in an explosion with his crew. The supernatural powers of the Triangle resurrected Salazar and he now seeks revenge as a cursed pirate.

    Javier Bardem takes the role of the newest villain in the upcoming movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Tales.

    “I am very excited and very honored to be a part of the [Walt Disney] family,” Bardem told ScreenSlam at the Beauty and the Beast premiere last month.

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