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Why Elizabeth & Will Didn’t Return In Pirates of the Caribbean 4

Will and Elizabeth were the co-leads in the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. Here’s why neither of them appeared in the movie

Will and Elizabeth didn’t return for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides because Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley wanted to pursue other projects. For all the attention Johnny Depp received for his Oscar-nominated performance as Jack Sparrow in 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, he wasn’t the film’s lead(s). That honor went to Bloom and Knightley, who co-starred as the star-crossed lovers Will Turner, a humble blacksmith’s apprentice, and Elizabeth Swann, the adventure-seeking daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann. It’s unknown if Bloom and Knightley will return for Pirates of the Caribbean 6.


In the wake of The Curse of the Black Pearl‘s success at the box office, Disney green-lit a pair of sequels to be shot back-to-back, with Bloom and Knightley reprising their respective roles. Titled Dead Men’s Chest and At World’s End, the films would go on to follow the pair as their wedding plans are interrupted. Their fates once again intertwined with Jack’s, with Will attempting to free his father, Bill, from an eternity of servitude aboard Davy Jones’ ship, the Flying Dutchman, and Elizabeth unexpectedly being elected the new Pirate King (with a bit of help from Jack). In the end, Will and Elizabeth finally get married before Will is killed in the climactic battle with Jones and then resurrected as the Dutchman’s new captain, but at a price: he and Elizabeth can only see one another every ten years when he’s able to set foot on land again.

Related: Every Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Ranked Worst to Best

Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightley Moved Away From Tentpole Franchises

Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbey in Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides

Both Bloom and Knightley focused on acting in live theater and smaller films after wrapping the trilogy, and have only appeared in a handful of tentpoles in the years since. Meanwhile, On Stranger Tides introduced a new pair of young heroes-turned lovers in the forms of Phillip Swift (Sam Claflin), an inexperienced but virtuous missionary imprisoned by the movie’s villain Blackbeard, and Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey as Syrena, a mermaid who is captured by Blackbeard and cared for by Swift, and later returned the favor by saving him after he’s mortally wounded during the film’s climax. The problem is, whereas Will and Elizabeth’s courtship was central to the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and the pair had actual arcs in all three films, Swift and Syrena’s romance was largely inconsequential to the rest of the plot in On Stranger Tides (widely regarded as the worst Pirates movie), and the two received little in the way of actual character development. Suffice it to say, the two didn’t work as replacements for Will and Elizabeth.

In an effort to rejuvenate the property, 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales followed a now-grown Henry (Brenton Thwaites) as he teams up with Jack to undo the curse upon his father, with Bloom and Knightley briefly appearing as Will and Elizabeth. The movie’s credits scene further teased their involvement with Pirates of the Caribbean 6, only for its lackluster critical and commercial performance to put those plans into doubt. Instead, there are now reports of Disney soft-rebooting the series around a new protagonist, but with no mention of whether Bloom and Knightley would return. On Stranger Tides showed just how vital their characters are to the series in its current form, so it’s hard to say whether the franchise would be better off picking up where the fifth movie left things or breaking away entirely from what’s come before (if not somewhere in-between those two options).

Is Orlando Bloom Going To Be In Pirates 6? The Rumored Pirates 6 Cast

Pirates of the Caribbean 6 cant kill off Jack sparrow Barbossa Davy jones

It’s unknown whether Orlando Bloom will return as Will Turner for Pirates of the Caribbean 6, but he and Keira Knightley did come back for Dead Men Tell No Tales, so it could be the case that the pair make an appearance for the final installment of the franchise. It’s been announced that Johnny Depp will not be reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow for Pirates 6 due to his well-known controversies. The confusing part comes in with the realization that there are actually two Pirates of the Caribbean movies in the works. The first is the final installment of the current franchise, for which a Will and Elizabeth return would make sense. It’s also likely that Geoffrey Rush will return as Captain Barbossa, as it’s hard to imagine the last installment without him. Due to his well-known controversies, Johnny Depp will not be reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow. The only confirmed cast member is Kaya Scodelario, who is contractually obligated.

Related: Will Johnny Depp Return To Pirates Of The Caribbean?

The second Pirates of the Caribbean movie is a spinoff series starring Margot Robbie. The spinoff will show the actress leading an all-female crew of pirates as she scours the seven seas. The film will be written by Christina Hodson, who previously worked with Robbie on Birds of Prey. With two new properties in the works, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides feels like a lifetime ago. Though Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan didn’t make it into the picture, they did come around for Pirates 5, and will hopefully appear in the final movie.

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