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Why Kiera Knightley Was Right To Leave Pirates of the Caribbean

Though audiences may have been shocked when she saw star Keira Knightley leave the film pirates of the caribbean franchise after only three films, in hindsight, the actor clearly made the right decision. Knightley was only 17 years old when she signed up to play Elizabeth Swann in 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

That first film eventually surpassed even the most optimistic box office projections, making bonafide A-list stars of the central cast. Although the pirates of the caribbean franchise never really worked as a whole, this didn’t hurt its continued success during the first two sequels. However, despite his popularity, Keira Knightley chose not to return for the fourth pirates of the caribbean movie.


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When Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was released in 2011, the sequel did well at the box office. However, most reviews of the fourth pirates of the caribbean The film noted that the outing lacked the chemistry that Knightley, Orlando Bloom, and Johnny Depp—like Elizabeth, Will Turner, and Captain Jack Sparrow—bring to earlier episodes. The fifth movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Talesfurther damaged the critical reputation of the series, showing that Knightley made the right decision to leave the franchise when she did.

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Why Keira Knightley Left Pirates of the Caribbean

When poured into the pirates of the caribbean movies, Keira Knightley signed on to a standalone trilogy of three films and always thought that was the extent of her involvement in the series. In the years between the first episode and the pre-production of the fourth film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesKnightley had amassed an impressive number of other credits and was one of the most in-demand actors of the decade.

However, in addition to her other commitments, Knightley also acknowledged that Elizabeth’s arc was from the original pirates of the caribbean trilogy was over. The first film in the franchise transformed her from a sheltered, spoiled aristocrat into an independent, rebellious action heroine. The next two parts gave Elizabeth and Will’s story a suitably sad ending, while also reaffirming her status as one of the toughest, most heroic characters in the series. Easy said, pirates of the caribbean nowhere else had the character of Elizabeth Swann, and Knightley knew it.

Pirates of the Caribbean’s original trilogy ended well

While it has some major plot holes, Pirates of the Caribbean: At the end of the world was at the very least a standalone story with a tragic but fitting ending for the franchise. It might have been nice to see Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann involved in some of Jack Sparrow’s episodic adventures after the events of the third film, but the original pirates of the caribbean The end of the trilogy left her a single mother waiting for her love’s return – barely in a place to drop everything and search for the Fountain of Youth on a whim.

Related: The Original Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy Wasted the Kraken

How Pirates of the Caribbean 4 handled Knightley’s exit

There was no easy way to write Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner from the fourth episode, but pirates of the caribbean: On Stranger Tides messed up this task. Both characters were replaced by similar but forgettable replacements, while Jack Sparrow was boosted to lead character status, turning the wayward pirate into an all-too-familiar action hero. The franchise tried to make up for this misstep by bringing back Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom in the next film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead men don’t tell stories.

Why Knightley (barely) appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean 5

Keira Knightley appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to wrap up the story of Elizabeth and Will’s son, Henry. However, Henry’s actor, Brendon Thwaites, noted that Knightley’s cameo was added after he shot his scenes with Orlando Bloom, meaning there was part of the movie without her. This is evident from the final cut of the film, in which the couple is barely mentioned until the closing moments. Elizabeth and Will’s much-discussed cameo doesn’t even have any dialogue from Knightley. In addition, Henry’s age does not match their appearance at all. The cameo was just a lazy, guaranteed way to bring back the duo that smacked of despair. Ultimately, the terrible reviews and disappointing box office results suggest it hasn’t even caught the interest of its intended audience.

Why Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Didn’t Need Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley doesn’t speak a word during her short appearance in… Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead men don’t tell stories, and her reunion with Bloom is clearly only meant to attract fans of the earlier films. It was a cheap tactic considering that the majority of the fifth pirates of the caribbean The film is a standalone story about Jack and Barbossa versus a ghost pirate and has little connection to the original trilogy.

New characters such as Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario’s heroine, Carina, are given little time to distinguish themselves in Dead men don’t tell stories because the movie is so busy trying to chase fans of the original trilogy, resulting in a sequel that perhaps better ditched the look of Elizabeth and Well. After all, Knightley’s earlier decision to leave the franchise after the third pirates of the caribbean film ultimately turned out to have been a wise decision at the time.

Next: Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Release Delays Killed the Franchise



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