"X marks the spot." It's a phrase that has been part of pirate lore since Robert Louis Stevenson described the map to buried treasure in his 1883 novel "Treasure Island."
In "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself with a mysterious red "X." But it's not on a map; it's a scar on his face. And the question isn't "Where does it lead?" but "How did it get there?"
In the fourth movie, Captain Jack has a new scar on his right cheek. Like the rest of Sparrow's appearance, it came about in collaboration between Johnny Depp and the film's makeup and costume crew. So where did Jack get the mark? According to Depp, no one really knows... and that includes Jack himself.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo!, Depp explained that he feels "It's nice to have a little bit of a pre-story to things." He acknowledged that it was intended to raise questions, because "you don't really get that [scar] from a sword fight, do you?" As far as who or what gave Jack the scar, Depp said, "I reckon that he probably just woke up with it and had no idea."
Depp told Entertainment Weekly, "I kept waiting for someone to ask me, 'Where did it come from?' But no one did." Apparently, everyone on the production liked it enough that they didn't need an explanation. It was even incorporated into the movie's poster; the skull has an "X" cut into it in the same place as Jack's scar.
The mark isn't the only update to Jack Sparrow's look in the movie. In the third movie, Jack's beaded trinket that hung from his bandana was cut off. So for "On Stranger Tides," it's been replaced by a new one that has his own gold tooth dangling from the end of it. Jack's dreadlocks are longer, with some bleached out by the sun and others just going gray. And he has a new blue silk vest. Depp told EW "[Jack] just probably couldn't take the stench of the old one anymore. So he dropped his off with someone and took theirs."
The costumes for all four "Pirates" films were designed by Penny Rose, who insists that all the outfits for the films be authentic. She states, "There are no modern gimmicks within them. You'll find no zippers or Velcro on these costumes!" Her crew created 700 costumes for all the actors and extras in the film. She said they also created 80 copies of Captain Jack's signature head scarf, because "we never want to run out."
One element of Captain Jack's look that has remained the same throughout all of the movies is his silver ring with the green stone. It's actually Johnny Depp's own ring. He said he bought it in an antique store sometime in the 1980s. He wore it the first time he was photographed for the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine in 1991. Another of Jack's rings was also one of Depp's, but it was stolen during filming and was replaced with a copy.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is in theaters now. Watch our exclusive interview with the stars of the movie below:
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