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'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End' Premiere
by Scott Holleran
Johnny Depp (right) at the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End premiere
Photo Credit: Brandon Gray
May 25, 2007

Burbank, California—Disneyland hosted the premiere for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and it brought out the best in most strolling the long red carpet toward Sleeping Beauty's castle and the charity screening of what's sure to be among the year's most analyzed motion pictures.

The movie's stars, particularly Johnny Depp, generally snubbed members of the word press. Depp posed for entertainment television cameras, signing some fan autographs and cutting out early on the carpet, leaving throngs of foreign and domestic reporters, who had stood for hours with notebooks, recorders and cameras, disappointed. Depp, in sunglasses and ripped blue jeans, was in shabby form, ignoring the press before skipping out halfway down Main Street.

Ted Elliott, Jocelyn Stamat, MD and Terry Rossio at the At World's End premiere
Photo Credit: Brandon Gray
Those acting more like Disneyland Cast Members included Pirates of the Caribbean writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio—escorting his lovely pirate girlfriend, Jocelyn Stamat, MD—walking along the Disneyland press line while sunny Cloris Leachman—no stranger to Disney pictures herself—dazzled reporters with her megawatt smile and her poised and attractive young granddaughter.

Top brass was in fine form, too. Tan, trim Walt Disney Pictures President Dick Cook pegged his personal favorite Pirates sequence—the romantic scene between Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom on deck during the storm in At World's End—and he gave credit where it's due.

Dick Cook
at the At World's End premiere
Photo Credit: Brandon Gray
"[Director] Gore Verbinski did an unbelievable job of choreographing that scene," Cook said. "Ted and Terry are two of the greatest writers working today and they clearly understand what we're trying to do—and the heritage and the nuances of the attraction." Dick Cook, who used to operate Disneyland's Monorail and worked on the Disneyland Railroad—still the best 20-minute joyride around the park—knows where the movies were born.

"I dearly loved coming to work every day and interacting with the guests, doing my part to try and make them have the best day of the year," he remembered. "People save their money for a long time to bring their families here and having a small part in giving them a great experience was a thrill. Those are great memories and I'd do it again in a second."

Pixar's and Disney Animation Studio's Ed Catmull and John Lasseter share the Disneyland excitement. Catmull, citing Mark Twain's books, tapped exploring Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland, where he used to climb Fort Wilderness, as his favorite memory. "I grew up on Davy Crockett and the whole mythology of the American West," Catmull explained.

Former Jungle Cruise skipper John Lasseter said he actually worked at Space Mountain the year it opened at Disneyland—1977—and he brought it back to the movies, naming his favorite Pirates of the Caribbean moment. "Johnny Depp stepping off the sinking boat right at the beginning of the first picture," Lasseter said.

Disney Imagineering executive Tony Baxter, who created Frontierland's rollicking Big Thunder Mountain, Adventureland's Indiana Jones attraction and conceived the brilliant but unrealized Little Mermaid attraction, preceded the Pixar crew. Another water-themed attraction, Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage, based on the Pixar movie, opens this summer.

Gore Verbinski
at the At World's End premiere
Photo Credit: Brandon Gray
Looking a bit overwhelmed, Gore Verbinski likened Disneyland's red carpet—an amazingly long and daunting sight—to an endurance test, perhaps not unlike his record-setting movie series. Others from the movie included Kevin McNally (Gibbs), Lee Arenberg (Pintel), Naomie Harris (Tia Dalma), Tom Hollander (Lord Beckett), Bill Nighy (Davy Jones), Jonathan Pryce (Governor Weatherby Swann) and Geoffrey Rush (Hector Barbossa).

Actor Ian Ziering discussed performing on Disney-owned ABC's Dancing with the Stars and actor Jon Voight (Coming Home) dropped by to chat about Disney's forthcoming sequel to the hit National Treasure. National Treasure co-writers Cormac and Marianne Wibberley made the occasion a family affair, attending with their lovely daughter, Emily.

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RELATED ARTICLES
• Review - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
• 6/29/06 - Scott Holleran: 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' Premiere
• 7/6/06 - Scott Holleran: A Rogue's Gallery of Pirate Movies
• 7/8/06 - Close-Up: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio on 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'
• Review - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
• Review - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
• 1/31/06 - Disneyland from A to Z

RELATED LINKS
'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End' Official Web Site
Scott Holleran Column Index

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