Pirates of the Caribbean: Tales of the Code: Wedlocked was a short film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, as the prequel to The Curse of the Black Pearl. The plot took inspiration from the "Auction scene" from the original attraction. The short film stars John Vickery (Auctioneer), Vanessa Branch (Giselle), and Lauren Maher (Scarlett). It was directed by James Ward Byrkit, produced by Leora Glass, and written by Ted Elliott, and Terry Rossio.
“Wedlocked” was a labor of love, a short film I directed especially for super-fans of the “Pirates” movies. Knowing we had a small budget and borrowed sets, Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott wrote a script for me that recalled the Pirates ride more than the movies. “Slappers” Vanessa Branch and Lauren Maher turned in leading lady performances that should get them their own TV spinoff.
Beautifully shot by Nic Sadler.
In Shipwreck Cove, Scarlett and Giselle are both getting ready in opposite sides of a mirror in a dressing room. Upon meeting one another, the two each revealed to on the verge of marrying. However, upon showing off their identical engagement rings, both women figure out that their grooms were the same man: Jack Sparrow. As soon as both women realized that they were deceived by Jack, curtains open to a crowd of men cheering and shouting. A pirate band played in front of a sign that says "Auction: Take a Wench for a Bride". The Auctioneer appears, smiling while presenting the wenches, including the bewildered Scarlett and Giselle.
The bids started as the Auctioneer gave a flower bouquet to Giselle, the first wench to be bid upon. After a pirate bidded only five pieces of silver, Giselle reacted angrily, while Scarlett started to use this for her advantage and started showing off as the auction continued. The Marquis D'avis bidded twenty pieces for Scarlett, calling her the "redhead". Seeing that Scarlett was a very profitable venture, the Auctioneer took the flower bouquet from Giselle and gave it to Scarlett. Soon, the crowd, led by a drunk pirate would start chanting "we want the redhead!" Seeing that she was going to lose to Scarlett, Giselle started competing with Scarlett for the highest bid. Several bids later, Giselle stated that she was egregiously underbid upon. Scarlett and Giselle soon fought against one another as the men stared and laughed at them. By the time the bid went up to 400, a group of pirates, led by Atencio, formed a corporation. As the bid went over 600, a pirate named Nigel bidded his goat, which caused Atencio to insert a goat in his bid. The Marquis D'avis made the final bid of seven hundred and two goats, which the Auctioneer gladly accepted.
By this point, both Scarlett and Giselle stopped fighting and expressed their happiness for being rich and having goats. However, the Auctioneer corrected them by saying he was rich as he shackled them together, stating that he owned them in a fair one-hundred percentage. Then an argument began, pirates and wenches alike, on if Scarlett and Giselle were for sale or not, which ended with the Auctioneer stating he traded them fair and square as per the Pirate Code. It was then that the pirate Mungard reminded the pirates that the Code was the law, and woe to those who disrespected it. Giselle clears her throat before asking the Auctioneer if he owned the stocking that she wore or a song she might sing, in which he confirmed undoubtedly. Knowing that the Auctioneer was responsible for her actions, Giselle gave Mungard a hard slap on the face. This caused a stir as Mungard vowed that the Auctioneer would pay for that, pointed his pistol at the Auctioneer, who then began a toss of the key to Scarlett and Giselle's shackles, the holder of whom Mungard would point his pistol at. A drunk pirate accidentally fired his pistol in the air, causing Mungard to turn around with his pistols. Scarlett and Giselle sneak away as the Auctioneer, holding the Code on him, saying that this catastrophe was the doing of one man: Jack Sparrow. Hearing the name Sparrow, Mungard turned around, asking where, before his pistol fired at the Code. The Auctioneer, still holding the Code, fell backwards to the ground.
Every one of the pirates, including Mungard, stared in shock of what just happened. The crowd whisper amongst themselves about Mungard having shot the Code, with one of them saying that Captain Teague would have his head. As a group helped a dazed Auctioneer to his feet, Mungard ordered the Code to be locked up and warned the pirates that if any of them spoke a word of what occurred, that he would have their tongues. Cotton, and his parrot, assured Mungard that "mum's the word". Scarlett and Giselle made their getaway, vowing that they'll be "re-acquainting" Jack Sparrow with the palm of their hands. Scarlett also showed that she took out four nails that went on Jack's boat in case he had "cold feet", immediately showing Jack Sparrow trying to get water out of the boat as he sailed to Port Royal. Meanwhile, the Pirate Code was carried towards a chest and was closed in the chest.
- John Vickery ... Auctioneer
- Vanessa Branch ... Giselle
- Lauren Maher ... Scarlett
- David Bailie ... Cotton
- Walter Williamson ... The Marquis D'avis, the Rich Pirate
- Fred Maske ... Atencio, the Poor Pirate
- Martin Horsey ... Gregor, the Drunk Pirate
- Jack Donner ... Jerome, the Old Pirate
- Ric Sarabia ... Nigel, the Skinny Pirate
- Barry Cullison ... Slurry Gibson, the Sitting Pirate
- Christopher Rocha ... Mungard
- Dale Dickey ... Oona, the Wench
- Christopher Maxwell ... Dante, the Handsome Pirate
- Lucas Cheadle ... Pirate Band - Upright Bass
- Steven (Stevie) Gurr ... Pirate Band - Guitar
- Norman Panto ... Pirate Band - Accordion
- Joel Pargman ... Pirate Band - Fiddle
- Diana Cignoni ...
- Karla Cook ...
- Nicole Dionne ...
- Roberta Kooistra ...
- Alethea Kutscher ...
- Allison Long ...
- Paula Long ...
- Lindsey Martin ... Wenches
- Adam Allee ...
- Keith Arndt ...
- Frank Bettag ...
- Frank Giarmona ...
- Albert Lund ...
- Omar Mohammed ...
- Cory Montgomery ...
- Dennis O'Neill ...
- Alan Prampin ...
- Greg Reeves ...
- Richard Robertson ...
- Randolph Scott ... Pirates
- Martin Pierron ... Auctioneer Assistant
When he worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, James Ward Byrkit worked as a conceptual consultant with director Gore Verbinski. Seeing the sets that production designer Rick Heinrichs designed for Pirates sequels Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, Verbinski would say, "Somebody give Jim a camera so he can shoot a movie here." Marveling the work of Heinrichs' Shipwreck Cove set at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Byrkit told Verbinski that they should shoot a movie here in off hours. And Verbinski said "Go for it!" So Byrkit got Disney interested in the idea for a short film and worked with Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio in writing Wedlocked. For the story, Byrkit envisioned something based on the Pirate Code book, because he knew that implied a device that could tie other stories in later.
Making Wedlocked allowed Byrkit to display his directorial gifts, as a cast and costumes and sets were speedily assembled on the California Pirates soundstage at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. With just enough resources to pull it off, the cast and crew had three days to shoot, because the "Pirate Cove" set was destroyed afterwards.
Around March 2011, Vanessa Branch teased a Pirates-related project intended to be released in Fall 2011. Disney/Buena Vista had announced that the home-video release of On Stranger Tides would include the "Pirates of the Caribbean 15-Disc Collection," with the design based on the Dead Man's Chest, a packaging that would have not only the four feature films but also the short film Tales of the Code: Wedlocked.
Days after the announcement, Wedlocked director James Ward Byrkit would be interview about Wedlocked, detailing on how it came to be and how Disney accepted the project being made. He said the general audience would still have great fun watching the short, but that there was a conscious effort to include lots of details and inside jokes for the truly obsessed fan. Byrkit also said he loved when an invented cinematic world seems big enough to follow other stories outside the main film, stating "Troops" from the Star Wars universe as an example. Byrkit also hoped it succeeded in keeping the fun of the very first Pirates of he Caribbean alive.
- This film does not star Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow), Geoffrey Rush (Hector Barbossa) and Kevin McNally (Joshamee Gibbs). However, the scene with Jack Sparrow and the Jolly Mon from The Curse of the Black Pearl was used for the ending scene of Wedlocked.
- Filming for Wedlocked took place shortly after the filming for At World's End wrapped, at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. It was released in the Pirates of the Caribbean Four Movie Collection.
- While Wedlocked served as a prequel to The Curse of the Black Pearl, it was mainly a reference to the Disneyland ride, particularly the auction scene and the characters Auctioneer and Scarlett (based on the Redhead).
- The song Pyrate Bryde by Warren Goodlang played during the ending credits. This usage of the song marks Wedlocked as the first Pirates of the Caribbean-related film to not use He's a Pirate in the ending credits.
- The character names Marquis D'avis, Atencio, and Slurry Gibson are tributes to Disney Imagineers who worked on the original ride: Marc Davis, Xavier Atencio, and Blaine Gibson.
Notes and references
- The Wedlocked ending credits show that the film was copyrighted in 2008. However, unless if it was released unknowingly, Wedlocked was only known to be released in the Pirates of the Caribbean Four Movie Collection, which was released in 2011 with the release of On Stranger Tides.
- Wedlocked - Jim Byrkit Director
- Wedlocked on Jim Byrkit's official website
- Tales of the Code: Wedlocked on Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki
- POTC Interview with Jim Byrkit 2012 on Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki
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