Production of the latest instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has kicked off on the Gold Coast.
Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow is back in action for a fifth time in Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales, in what is the largest film, size and budget-wise, shot in Australia to date.
The Federal Government kicked in $21.6 million to ensure Pirates 5 would be filmed in Queensland, with former premier Campbell Newman claiming last year that the project would inject $100 million into the state’s economy while creating thousands of jobs in the process.
Queensland’s wet weather has reportedly pushed filming for Dead Men Tell No Tales a month behind schedule, forcing the crew into some heavy overtime hours.
The bad weather isn’t the only the only thing ruffling feathers on the Gold Coast hinterland set. The Humane Society International Australia, Wild Futures, Born Free Foundation and Captive Animals Protection Society have joined together to protest Disney importing a pair capuchin monkeys, POTC regulars, to feature in the film.
Concerned with the use of wild animals in film productions, Wild Futures campaigns officer Cordelia Britton told the ABC that Hollywood blockbusters can go on without the need for animal exploitation.
“It is not too late for the Pirates of the Caribbean production team to commit to end the use of wild animals in the entertainment business,” she said.
“Capuchin monkeys naturally live in large family groups in the rainforests of South and Central America and have complex physical and psychological needs – a film set is no place for such an intelligent, social animal and the life of a monkey ‘actor’ is sadly far removed from the life they should have.”
One-time Bond villain Javier Bardem is back in the bad guy role for the latest Pirates tale.
“A down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him,” Walt Disney Studios said of the latest storyline as the franchise looks to build on its $3.7 billion success at the box office since releasing The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003. .
Pirates 5 is set for release in 2017.