Jerry Bruckheimer Sails to the Top

How did they keep track of all the little details that go into such a monumental production? Director Gore Verbinski. Bruckheimer speaks lovingly about the man who helmed all three movies. "He comes from a family of nuclear scientists. He's the black sheep of the family," he said.

The casting of Johnny Depp as the main character, Captain Jack Sparrow, was another risk. Depp first became widely known through his work in the teen cop drama "21 Jump Street" on Fox. After that the actor made his mark with a slew of well-regarded -- though not always box-office resounding -- movies such as "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Dead Man."

But for Bruckheimer, "He was my first choice always." Captain Jack Sparrow was cast, and with Depp's mix of feyness, over-the-top clowning and a little bit of a Keith Richards impression, the film had its star.

According to some, Hollywood has a penchant for dragging franchises out for profit, at the expense of fans and the original spirit of a series. So will there be another Pirates movie? "We finished the story. This is the end of it," said Bruckheimer. "But you never know what happens in the future."

So what advice would Bruckheimer give to young filmmakers? "Understand literature, understand what a good story is, understand what a good character is, understand what drama is. We're storytellers," he said. The words from a master.

"Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End" opens worldwide on May 25.

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