Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler film directed by Gore Verbinski and the first film in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer, the film is based on Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disney theme parks The story follows pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) as they rescue the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who become undead skeletons at night.
Jay Wolpert developed a script based on the theme park ride in 2001, and Stuart Beattie rewrote it in early 2002. Around that time, producer Jerry Bruckheimer became involved in the project; he had Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio work on the script, adding the supernatural curse to the storyline. Filming took place from October 2002 to March 2003 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and on sets constructed around Los Angeles, California. It was also significant in being the first film released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner to be rated PG-13 by the MPAA.
The film's world premiere was held at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California on June 28, 2003. It received positive reviews from critics and was an unexpected success, grossing over $654 million worldwide with many considering it to be the best in the series. Johnny Depp won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and earned him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The Curse of the Black Pearl was also nominated for four other Academy Awards and BAFTAs. The film became the first of the series, with two back-to-back sequels, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, released in 2006 and 2007. A third sequel, On Stranger Tides, was released in 2011 and a fourth, Dead Men Tell No Tales, was released in 2017.