The theme of pirates and their swashbuckling exploits has always been a popular topic, from The Life, Adventures and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton written by Daniel Defoe in 1720 to Treasure Island penned by Robert Louis Stevenson. To this day, the pirate genre remains fashionable in modern entertainment.
This is demonstrated by the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, which is set to release the sixth film in the series. The action-adventure elements provided by the exploits of pirates make the topic particularly attractive to film studios and video game operators alike.
Embracing pirate themes has extended into other areas of the entertainment industry. For example, the online gaming industry features a multitude of pirate-themed casino and slot games such as Pirates’ Plenty The Sunken Treasure and Buckaneers’ Frenzy Online, where players set sail with a crew of pirates as they undertake an adventure to find sea-borne prizes. Clearly, the popularity of the pirate genre has contributed to the success of these casino games and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more pirate-inspired titles in this area.
The pirate theme is also popular in video games, starting with The Secret of Monkey Island in the 1990s and followed by versions of popular game franchises such as Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag. Recently, the sixth edition of the video game Sea of Thieves was released, while the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise and the game franchise joined forces in the Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life, which features Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew in a frantic battle with Davy Jones. Gamers are hoping for further cross-overs in the future.
The movie franchise combines an all-star cast with box office success. The first five Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which starred Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow and featured a cast which included Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, grossed more than $4.5 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing film franchises in history.
One feature of the pirate genre is the fascinating anti-heroes it produces, from the incorrigible rogue pirate Long John Silver from Treasure Island to the eccentric Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean. These multi-faceted characters are highly popular with fans of the genre.
However, there has been speculation that Depp may not feature in the next iteration of the movie franchise. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer did not deny the speculation when he commented: “The one we’re developing right now, we’re not sure quite what Johnny’s role is going to be. So, we’re going to have to see.” Therefore, while Depp may not feature in Pirates of the Caribbean 6, there is sure to be a cast of many different characters with their own idiosyncrasies taking part in a host of exciting adventures on the high seas.
The pirate genre provides a constant source of inspiration for the various forms of modern entertainment and the action-adventure element of the genre is likely to provide ideas and inspiration for many years to come. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise will look to develop new and fascinating characters who fulfill the anti-hero role of the swashbuckling pirate.
Amanda Dudley is a lecturer and writer with a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. After earning her doctorate in 2001, she decided to pursue a fulfilling career in the educational sector. So far, she has made giant strides by working as an essay writer for EssayUSA, where she delivers high-quality academic papers to students who need them.