irates of the Caribbean is a series of fantasy adventure films directed by Gore Verbinski (1–3) and Rob Marshall (4), written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. All four films are based on Walt Disney's theme park ride of the same name and follow the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally), Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), Angelica (Penélope Cruz) and Blackbeard (Ian McShane). The films started with their first release on the big screen in 2003 with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. After the success of the first film, Walt Disney Pictures revealed that a trilogy was in the works. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was released three years later in 2006. The sequel proved successful, breaking records worldwide the day of its premiere. In the end, it earned $1,066,179,725 at the worldwide box office, becoming the fastest film (at the time) to reach the $1 billion mark and standing as the third highest-grossing film worldwide (since having dropped to eighth place). The third film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, was released in 2007. In September 2008, Depp signed on for a fourth film in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, released on May 20, 2011 in conventional 2D, Digital 3-D and IMAX 3D. It succeeded in grossing more than $1 billion, becoming the eighth film and fastest Disney film (at the time) to achieve this. So far, the film franchise has grossed $3.72 billion worldwide, being the first of only two franchises with two films that reached $1 billion worldwide (the other being the Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy). It is the sixth highest-grossing film series of all-time. It has been confirmed that two more installments to the franchise are included in Disney's future plans. In July 2011, Johnny Depp confirmed he was closing in on a deal for a fifth installment and that the franchise wouldn't be going ahead without Depp's participation.
Although it has never been officially confirmed, there is strong evidence to suggest that the series was influenced by, and perhaps loosely based upon, the Monkey Island series of video games. Ted Elliott, one of the two screenwriters of the first four films, was allegedly the writer of a Steven Spielberg-produced animated film adaptation of Monkey Island entitled The Curse of Monkey Island (presumably based on the game of the same name), which was cancelled before its official announcement, three years prior to the release of The Curse of the Black Pearl. This film was allegedly in production at Industrial Light & Magic before being cancelled.Ron Gilbert, the creator of the Monkey Island video game series, has jokingly expressed a bitterness towards the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise for its similarities to Monkey Island. Gilbert has also stated that On Stranger Tides, a novel by Tim Powers which was adapted into the fourth film, was the principal source of inspiration for his video games.