Tucked away in the special features on the making of the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales film that came out on DVD and Blu-ray Oct. 3 is a short segment called “Wings Over the Caribbean” that will be of interest to Paul McCartney fans.
In the film, McCartney plays Uncle Jack, a pirate relative of Capt. Jack Sparrow. In keeping with the tone of the film, it’s a very light-hearted role. The two are reunited in a dungeon when Jack Sparrow (Depp) is captured and brought in and Uncle Jack (McCartney) is already a prisoner in a cell. “Uncle Jack!” says Depp, when he hears him singing an old song (and not the Rod Stewart hit) “Maggie Mae.” “Jackie Boy! How’s it going?” answers McCartney. “I can’t complain really,” says Depp. McCartney answers, “I’ve been waiting all morning for a beating but the service is terrible.”
“Paul McCartney is an icon. He’s one of the greatest musicians and performers alive,” says producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “And we’re very fortunate that he’s friends with Johnny. Johnny has done favors for him and he’s returned a favor by being in this movie.” Those favors include appearances in McCartney music videos, including “Queenie Eye,” “My Valentine” and “Early Days.”
“I’ve known Johnny a while. I’ve always admired him as Jack Sparrow,” says McCartney in the segment. “And he said, ‘You know, I’d love you to be in the next one.’ What, me, a pirate? And he says, ‘Yeah, you can do it and have a lot of fun.’ So he wrote me in.”
In addition to talking about the role, McCartney also does some singing, both in the movie and in an extra version on the DVD recorded when there was silence on the set and the only thing heard is McCartney’s voice. This extra version is not in the movie.
“Paul McCartney was a dream to work with,” says Joachim Rønning, one of the film’s directors. “Jack Sparrow’s family tree is pretty cool having Keith Richards as his dad and Paul McCartney as his uncle.”