If swashbuckling pirates still roamed the sea in tall ships, Jumpin' Jack Flash would be a great name for a modern-day Blackbeard. At least Johnny Depp thinks so.
Depp brings rock-star flair to his role as gritty Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, opening around the country this week. And while rock 'n' roll may seem a little anachronistic for a pirate from the 18th century, Depp insists he infused a little of Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards into his performance.
"Yeah, the pirate of the 18th century seemed to me like the rock 'n' roll star of today, and to me the greatest rock 'n' roll star of all time, the coolest rock 'n' roll star of all time, is Keith Richards," Depp says.
"I kind of incorporated the idea of Keith, not like an imitation of Keith or anything, but just that wisdom that he carries, that sort of confidence."
Jerry Bruckheimer's $135 million action film is based on the Disney amusement park ride, but Depp says he drew inspiration from various sources.
That's apparent from the moment when audiences meet this seafaring adventurer, who sports heavy coats of dark eye shadow more reminiscent of David Bowie from his androgynous period than the scurvy dogs in classic Hollywood pirate pictures.
From Edward Scissorhands to Golden Tooth
Depp, 40, famous for bringing his good looks and eccentric charm to films like Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas doesn't completely reinvent pirate lore.
Pirates still love gold, and you'll see that as soon as Depp smiles, flashing several gold teeth. And that's not just an on-screen dental prosthetic. They're real.
"I had these veneers, these caps fitted over my teeth and they were bonded onto my real teeth," he says. "They're real all right. Getting them off is going to be interesting."
As a theme-park attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean has long been one of Disney's most popular rides. (The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABCNEWS.com.) But it doesn't tell a story. Instead, it serves as inspirations for the elaborate set. Bruckheimer called in the same team of writers who produced the acclaimed hit Shrek to create the sometimes bumbling, sometimes swashbuckling Capt. Sparrow.
When Sparrow arrives on shore in a dilapidated boat, he's told, "You are without a doubt the worst pirate I have ever heard of."
"But you have heard of me," the captain replies.
Sparrow crosses swords with the ghostly pirate Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who has stolen Sparrow's ship and kidnapped Elizabeth Swann, the governor's beautiful daughter (Keira Knightley).
Orlando Bloom, best known as the long-haired elf Legolas in The Lord of the Rings, plays the swordsmith who loves Swann and joins with Depp to take on Barbossa and his undead crew, with a fantastic fortune hanging in the balance.
Depp is so in love with his character, he's already campaigning to be in a sequel, if that happens.
"I'd love to, but you know Disney might say, 'I think we've had plenty of Johnny Depp, now let's move on to someone else,' " Depp says. "I had such a ball playing the guy, I'd love to do it again."
If that's the case, he might want to learn to live with his new mouth ornaments.