I saw Pirates again on DVD and I have a question (spoilers)

I’m a little confused about Will’s father. As I understand the sequence of events:

Jack Sparrow is marooned on an island after a mutiny but before the crew finds the Aztec gold, so he escapes the curse.

Bootstrap Bill, Jack’s friend, is upset at the mutiny and sends off a piece of gold to his son, Will Turner. We can assume from this that Bill is also cursed.

The crew of the Pearl ties a cannon to Bootstrap and throws him overboard.

But, if Will’s father was cursed, then he can’t drown. So can we assume that once the cannon hit the bottom of the ocean, Bootstrap got free and escaped? And now that the curse is lifted, he is still alive?

That always bugged me. I decided that for my own sanity and so I didn’t get upset at the movie every time I saw it, I would pretend in my head that sending the gold to Will negated the curse on himself and he got to go ahead and die.

Otherwise, he was tied to a cannon until the curse broke, and then he drowned.

In their commentary (which you can listen to if you still have the DVD), the writers point out that Will’s father was dropped into the “crushing depths” of the ocean, so we’re supposed to assume that his body was destroyed. I got the feeling that they truly meant for him to be dead, and they weren’t going to bring him back for the sequel. Of course, I could be totally wrong.

Also, if you turn on the commentary and go directly to the end credits, one of the writers gives a detailed and drawn-out explanation of the timeline, which I found really interesting.

My understanding is that he’s dead, dead, dead.

Even if the curse kept him alive, if the depths he was dropped to were indeed crushing, he’d spend all those years as a piratical pancake before the crushing finally, actually killed him.

If you think about it that way, he probably had the worst time of it. Arguably he wouldn’t feel pain, but still, to be held immobile, alone, and in total darkness for 10 years…

My problem was that no-one actually recognizes Orlando Bloom until he announces he’s Bootstraps son, and Mackenzie Crook (the wooden eyed Pirate) says ‘E’s the spittin’ image of ol’ bootstrap!’.
They’ve seen him before, in the port when they attack it, and no-one clocks this fact?
Still, Arrrrr! its my favourite movie of last year, aside from LOTR.

“So can we assume that once the cannon hit the bottom of the ocean, Bootstrap got free and escaped? And now that the curse is lifted, he is still alive?”

Since there’s a sequel in the works, I think this is a very good assumption indeed. :wink:

Well, I know some skeletons were broken apart during the ship fight, but when Gov Swann cut off the arm, it was still alive. So, theoretically, could Bill have “reassembled” himself once he hit bottom? And it might not even have been bottom…maybe just a shelf or something.

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who had a question about this.

I just want to clear something up. From what I know, Wil was NOT cursed, as was his father. Wil was quite human and would have figured out a ‘curse’ pretty quickly (judging by the symptoms: being a skeleton in moonlight, not feeling touch, not tasting food).

The curse is only extended to those who actually stole the coins. Elizabeth wasn’t cursed when she stole the coin from Wil when he washed up on the boat, nor would Wil have been cursed because his father gave him the coin.

So, here’s where I see the timeline:

-The crew of the Black Pearl hold a mutiny and over throws Cap’n Jack Sparrow. -Leave him for dead.

-They steal the cursed gold, and begin to re-distribute it.

-They discover there is a curse on the gold, and don’t quite know what to do to lift it.

-Bootstrap Bill complains about the mutiny, and fearing he might try and do somehting about it, they tie him to a cannon and drop him overboard. Does he die? I don’t know… could be explained either way, I suppose.

-The pirates figure out they need to spill the blood of each person who stole a coin to lift the curse, but Damn, they sank Bill! They figure out they need to find Bill’s only child and spill his/her blood to lift the curse. They also need the coin, which they figure (or learn) Bill gave to his child.

Bootstrap wouldn’t have been crushed by the depths, at least not permanently. Once his innards filled with seawater, the pressure would be equalized, and he’d be able to remain uncrushed. It then becomes an open question as to whether he was able to free himself and make it back to the surface before the curse was lifted (at which point he becomes unambiguously dead, if he didn’t make it).

Well, I would guess Bootstrap had 10 years to work free of the cannon and make it to the surface.

And thus the sequeal.

Okay, because I wanted to put off doing laundry, I popped in my copy of the DVD to listen to the timeline commentary made by the screen writers. I wrote down the main points to post here. The part regarding what happened to Bill, since it’s the subject of the OP, I’ve quoted word for word.

10 years before “present time.”—Jack shows up in Tortuga to recruit a crew. Bootstrap Bill is already with him—he was already good friends with Jack at this point. Jack has the compass, knows about the treasure and the curse. Doesn’t believe in the curse. Takes on Barbossa et al.

One day out, Barbossa convinces Jack to give up the bearings. Then he leads a mutiny against Jack, leaving him marooned on a deserted island. Bootstrap Bill, although he probably doesn’t actually participate in the mutiny, stays on board. Jack is okay with this because he’s just “doing what’s right for him.” He’s following the code.

Barbossa, his crew and Bill go to the Isle de Muerta, find the treasure, and proceed to go party and carouse. It’s only after quite a bit of the money has been spent that they realized they have been cursed. The Aztec writing on the outside of the chest tells them how to lift the curse, although apparently they didn’t read it all at this point.

In the meantime, Bill has been feeling guilty. He thinks they deserve to be cursed for what they have done to Jack, so he sends the coin to Will in England.

“Barbossa got really pissed off, strapped him to a cannon, and dropped him into, as ___ tells us, the crushing depths of Davy Jones’ Locker—Implying that perhaps while Bill cursed is still alive, he may be a very thin puddle on the ocean’s bottom. So that’s what happens to Bill.”

So the pirates are cursed, trying to return all the gold to the chest. Only later do they realize that they need the blood, too.

Move to 8 years before “present time.”—Will’s ship is destroyed by a gunpowder explosion, sending the boy into the ocean. The coin touches the water, calling the Black Pearl. But the pirate ship is scared off by the presence of the Dauntless, so doesn’t retrieve the coin. Elizabeth steals the coin from Will.

And we know the rest from there.
(I apologize for any spelling or grammatical mistakes–my husband’s bugging me to get off the computer so I don’t have time to double-check everything.)

I thought this at first too, but you know, they hadn’t seen him in 10 years, and it’s not like they had photographs. I might not recognize my friends from 10 years ago until someone reminded me.

Not to mention that Bootstrap was probably a lot older than Will too, given that he had a son who was probably 8-12 years old when they were cursed.(do they ever give Will and Elizabeth’s ages?) If he wasn’t a pirate for long -which I assume was the case given Will’s conviction that his father was a merchant- they probably never saw him when he was Will’s age. And for all we know, Bootstrap had a shaved head and a beard, there are lots of reasons you wouldn’t necessarily realize two people were related until it was pointed out; then it becomes stunningly obvious.

If this is so…how do you explain Jack getting the curse when he palmed a coin?

Just as an aside…congrats to Johnny Depp for his SAG award. It bodes well for an oscar.

He took the coin out of the cest himself, it wasn’t given to him like to Elizabeth.

So then I wonder, why would an invincible ghost pirate ship be afraid of anything? Particularly when they need the coin that is apparently on the ship?

But I thought that it was Bootstrap who laid the curse on the ship? Doesn’t it say something to the effect that he’s the one who laid it during the movie? Thus why Bootstrap’s blood is needed to break it…

In my mind it was always

  • Barbossa convinces Sparrow to share the co-ordinates of the island
  • Mutiny, Sparrow dumped on the island
  • Barbossa and the rest go off to steal the gold
  • They steal the gold and by this point Bootstrap is having pangs of concience about the mutiny and the dumping of Sparrow without saying anything.
  • Bootstrap sends one of the coins, part of his share, back to his son and then lays the curse on the men of the Black Pearl intending to go back to his son
  • Bootstrap is tossed into the briny deep by the crew
  • The crew realizes they need Bootstrap’s blood, as well as all the coins to break the curse, too late as Bootstrap is now somewhere below
  • The crew goes after the coins and finds them all… except one. Someone remembers Bootstrap has a son and guesses that the coin is with him. Will is heading to the new world for whatever reason and they track him.
  • They attack the ship Will is on and are scared off for whatever reason (or think they made a mistake after destroying the ship and not sensing the coin in the water, because Will is floating on wreckage not IN the water and so take off)
  • The movie picks up

No, it was an old Aztec curse. No one on board cursed anyone else.

Then why do they need Bootstrap’s blood to get rid of it?