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Hans Zimmer Didn't Think Pirates Of The Caribbean Was A Good Idea

The veteran film composer wasn't sold on Gore Verbinski's swashbuckling fantasy at first.

Speaking in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Hans Zimmer discussed the biggest undertakings of his professional career, like scoring Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers' The Lion King for Disney, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight film trilogy and Inception, and, of course, Verbinski's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. When the Johnny Depp-starring flick came into conversation, Zimmer admitted that he initially thought the film was an awful idea. 

"Pirates was a complete accident. I was working with Gore [Verbinski] on something, and I said to him, 'So, what are you doing next?' He's going, 'Well, I'm thinking of doing this pirates movie," recalled Zimmer. "Okay, a pirates movie, really? Seriously? This is the worst idea I've ever heard." 

Still, Zimmer agreed to meet up with Verbinski to learn more about the film, which ended up seriously impressing him. "I got a phone call from Gore on a Sunday going, 'Come over, have a look at this thing.' He showed me a movie that I couldn't possibly have imagined when he was talking about it," the composer said. "And I loved how wrong I was and how right he was."

The rest was, so they say, history. Zimmer immediately accepted the scoring gig, filling in for original composer Alan Silvestri, who dropped out following creative differences with Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer. It wasn't long after he saw the footage that Zimmer got to work on the film's catchy theme. And it wasn't just excitement that fueled the creative session, it was necessity, since Zimmer joined the production pretty late in the game. 

"There was very little time left by the time I got onto this. I was going, 'Okay, I better go home and write a theme.' I started at 7:30 in the evening — I'm just exploding with ideas, except I'm starting to [get] so tired. So, the playing gets worse and worse. And it's just like my fingers aren't moving properly anymore, [and] now it's 5 o'clock in the morning," Zimmer explained with a nostalgic smile. "So, that's sort of how that movie came about."

His assumptions about Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl may have been wrong, but Zimmer's work on the film ended up being just right — so much so that even later installments he didn't compose (like 2017's Geoff Zenelli-scored Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) still include his iconic theme tune.