How Old Captain Jack Sparrow Is In Each Movie

How Old Captain Jack Sparrow Is In Each Movie

Captain Jack Sparrow, famously portrayed by Johnny Depp, is the heart of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But how old is the pirate in each film?

How does Captain Jack Sparrow’s age change through the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise? Since sailing into theaters with The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003, Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow has been the undisputed face of the Disney film series. Other characters have come and gone, but Captain Jack remains the common thread through each adventure, with much of the Pirates of the Caribbean mythology centered around the swashbuckling exploits of Depp’s most iconic portrayal.

Despite suffering diminishing returns, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have been incredibly lucrative for Disney, and a sixth installment is reportedly being developed. Johnny Depp won’t be returning, as confirmed by various sources at Disney and Depp himself. However, even before Depp’s departure, there was some debate as to whether Captain Jack should return to the seas, or sit out the upcoming voyage.

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Some wondered if Pirates needed a fresher protagonist for the franchise’s core audience, many of whom weren’t born even when Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the 4th installment, released in 2011. Depp was nearing 40 when debuting as Captain Jack, and is now in his late 50s. But how old is the Jack Sparrow character in each Pirates of the Caribbean movie?

Jack Sparrow’s Age In Every Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie

The Curse of the Black Pearl: Through Disney’s novel and comic releases, Jack Sparrow’s birth can be pinned down to the year 1690. Thanks to concept art from later films and the growth of Henry Turner, it can be deduced that the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie is set in 1728, which means Jack would be 38/39 in The Curse of the Black Pearl. This more or less correlates with the real life age of Johnny Depp while filming.

Dead Man’s Chest: Based on the exchange between Captain Jack and Davy Jones about how long Sparrow was captain of the Black Pearl, roughly a year must have passed between The Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Man’s Chest. This would make Depp’s pirate around 40, again not far from the actor himself when filming took place in 2005.

At World’s End: Dead Man’s Chest ends with Jack being dragged into Davy Jones’ Locker by the Kraken and the remaining heroes resolving to save him with the help of a returning Barbossa. At World’s End picks up the action at the beginning of the mission and not much time has passed in between. Consequently, Captain Jack is the same age in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie as he was in the second, and this makes sense since both films were shot back-to-back.

On Stranger Tides: The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film represented somewhat of a franchise reboot, boasting a mostly fresh cast and brand new story arc. On Stranger Tides is also unhelpfully vague about how much time has passed since At World’s End. In several interviews, the film’s production designer stated that the year 1750 was being used as the basis for the story and setting, which creates a 20-year time jump from the previous movie. Jack Sparrow would, therefore, be approximately 60 years old – quite a bit older than Depp, who had barely aged a day in reality. Perhaps he didn’t need the Fountain of Youth after all.

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Dead Men Tell No Tales: Young Lewis McGowan is credited as playing a 12 year-old Henry Turner in the opening sequence of Dead Men Tell No Tales, and the bulk of the movie is set 9 years later, which means Brenton Thwaites is portraying Henry at age 21. Therefore, 21 years (and nine months) must’ve passed since At World’s End. If Jack was around 40 years old then, he’s 60/61 in Dead Men Tell No Tales, which must take place only a year or so after On Stranger Tides. Although the math checks out, the fifth movie’s co-director, Joachim Rønning (via Cinemablend), claims a decade has passed since On Stranger Tides, conflicting with either Henry’s age or the 1750 production design of the fourth movie.

It is perfectly clear that the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were not meant to adhere to a strict timeline, and the more installments Disney makes, the more contradictory the franchise’s chronology becomes. What can be said with reasonable confidence is that Captain Jack is virtually the same age as Johnny Depp when the franchise begins and at least 60 years old by the end of the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Even If Depp Is Allowed To Return, It Doesn’t Make Sense For Pirates Canon

Margot Robbie Pirates of the caribbean queer character Jack sparrow

Jack Sparrow returning for Pirates of the Caribbean 6 is highly unlikely, but it would likely be fan service instead of necessary storytelling anyway. Johnny Depp has no desire to work with Disney again after they reportedly dropped him from the project in 2018, as was made clear by various parties during the defamation trial against Amber Heard. Disney has since signed on Margot Robbie to lead Pirates 6,  and the movie will be a Jack Sparrow-less soft reboot. While a Pirates of the Caribbean movie without Johnny Depp might seem odd to some, it makes sense for the franchise canon. The diminishing returns on each successful installment might partly be down to audiences struggling to follow the convoluted timeline, especially between movies 3 and 4. As much as he’s a fan favorite, a glaring cause of the confusing continuity is Jack Sparrow.

Depp’s age isn’t a barrier to a Jack Sparrow return. Even if Pirates 6 is set during Jack’s youth, reverse-aging CGI is so advanced that Depp could seamlessly fill Sparrow’s shoes at any point in the character’s timeline until the actor himself retires. The problem is that Disney has big ambitions for the Pirates franchise, and the cinema landscape of the 2020s is different than the early ’00s when Curse of the Black Pearl first smashed box-office charts. Post-MCU audiences expect more of a tangible continuity from their cinematic universes and franchises, and an ageless pirate swashbuckling through vague nondescript decades won’t cut it. Disney knows that Pirates of the Caribbean needs a huge continuity shake-up to achieve its full potential, and that means timeline-muddying Jack Sparrow might, for the first time in franchise history, be better left off-screen.

More: Every Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Ranked Worst To Best

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Craig Elvy
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Craig first began contributing to Screen Rant in 2016, several years after graduating college, and has been ranting ever since, mostly to himself in a darkened room. Having previously written for various sports and music outlets, Craig’s interest soon turned to TV and film, where a steady upbringing of science fiction and comic books finally came into its own.
Craig has previously been published on sites such as Den of Geek, and after many coffee-drenched hours hunched over a laptop, part-time evening work eventually turned into a full-time career covering everything from the zombie apocalypse to the Starship Enterprise via the TARDIS.

Since joining the Screen Rant fold, Craig has been involved in breaking news stories and mildly controversial ranking lists, but now works predominantly as a features writer.
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