- "I think this movie is for anyone who enjoys a sprawling adventure. It's got action, romance, intrigue. I think there's a child in all of us who enjoys these kinds of movies that are exciting, fun, with oddball characters, conflict and resolution."
- ―Gore Verbinski
Gregor "Gore" Verbinski (born March 16, 1964) is an American film director and writer. Working in a wide range of genres and budgets with many top talents, Verbinski was considered one of the most innovative directors of his generation. Gore Verbinski directed one of the most successful trilogies in motion-picture history, with the Walt Disney Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films productions of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, and At World's End. His box-office success totals over $2 billion worldwide, as of the 2006 release of Dead Man's Chest, which not only grossed over $1 billion around the world, but broke many box-office records.
Gregor Verbinski was born the third of five children to Victor and Laurette Verbinski in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His siblings are Janine, Claire Caregiver, Diane and Steven. His father was Polish and worked as a nuclear physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 1967, the Verbinski family moved to Southern California, where a young Gregor grew up in the town of La Jolla. Gregor was an active Boy Scout and surfed regularly. He went to Torrey Pines Elementary, Muirlands Junior High, and La Jolla High School before attending the prestigious School of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA. Verbinski graduated with his BFA in Film from UCLA in 1987.
Prior to his incredible film success, Gore Verbinski's early career included being in rock bands and an award-winning commercial and music video director. His inventive work in advertising for companies including Nike, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser earned him a number of Clio awards. In 1993, he created the memorable Budweiser advertising campaign showcasing croaking frogs. Along with commercials, Verbinski also has seen success in the music-video world directing videos for bands such as Bad Religion and Crystal Method.
After completing a short film, The Ritual (which he both wrote and directed), Gore Verbinski's work caught the eye of Steven Spielberg who offered him his first feature film, the visually stunning family comedy MouseHunt. The film was a hit globally and he soon followed up the success with The Mexican and the hit thriller The Ring, which wowed audiences and grossed over $250 million worldwide and made Naomi Watts a household name. Verbinski also had a directorial hand in The Time Machine, temporarily taking over for an exhausted Simon Wells, and was given a Thanks to credit in the film.
Gore Verbinski would later direct Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was released in 2003 and went on to become one of the top-grossing films of that year, earning a number of Oscar nominations, including a Best Actor nomination for Johnny Depp for his portrayal as Captain Jack Sparrow. In between the first and second Pirates pictures, Verbinski directed the acclaimed comedy-drama The Weather Man, staring Nicolas Cage and Michael Caine. The powerful opus about the elusive contemporary American Dream, showcased Verbinski's versatility. The 2006 release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest not only grossed $1 billion around the world, but broke many box-office records, including the first film to break the heralded $100 million barrier in 48 hours.
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Curse of the Black Pearl
- "My agent called and said, 'How do you feel about a pirate movie? I mean, how often are you going to get that call? It's sort of the singularly most failed genre of our time, but I thought it had to be attempted one more time. I think there's something rebellious about pirates, something revolutionary about them. They came out of a time when things were oppressive; you could get hung for stealing a loaf of bread. For me, the Pirates films are about when it's right to break the rules to achieve what you want."
- ―Gore Verbinski
In 2002, Gore Verbinski would take the director's seat in helming Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a film based on the original Disneyland ride. Many of the cast and crew, Verbinski included, had not expected The Curse of the Black Pearl to be a successful film, as the pirate genre had been dead for decades prior. After its theatrical release in 2003, The Curse of the Black Pearl earned over $600 million at the international box office and went on to become one of the top-grossing films of that year, earning a number of Oscar nominations, including a Best Actor nomination for Johnny Depp for his portrayal as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Creating the Pirates Trilogy
- "We've already grafted the pirate genre with the supernatural. I think we're fair game to go into everything from the Orient to sea monsters. We have a wonderful opportunity to tie up loose ends and open the thing up, take the genre to a wild place. You don't do something because it's a sure thing. You don't do something for the bank. That's the one that flops. That's a riskier proposition than doing something completely original. It's risky to be safe."
- ―Gore Verbinski
Following the success of The Curse of the Black Pearl, Disney moved swiftly to capitalize on its new franchise, with Verbinski signed on to direct two sequels, to be shot simultaneously, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Verbinski assured that he and Depp would have more surprises for audiences—and for Disney. Though neither had completed scripts, pre-production for the second and third Pirates films began in 2004. Verbinski and the writers, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, created numerous ideas for the sequels.
The second film, titled Dead Man's Chest, would start filming in 2005 and released in 2006. Dead Man's Chest became his most successful film, not only as the third film ever to gross over $1 billion around the world, but broke many box-office records, including the first film to break the heralded $100 million barrier in 48 hours. It is currently the highest grossing of all the Pirates films so far. The third film, titled At World's End, would be released in 2007. The three films combined had grossed $2.6 billion.
A Fourth Pirates
At World's End was originally the proposed end of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, though most in the industry felt that such a money-making engine could not be shut down so easily. When asked on plans regarding a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film after the success of the original Pirates trilogy, Verbinski stated:
- I think the trilogy is now complete. All of the stories set in motion by the first film have been resolved. If there ever were another Pirates of the Caribbean film, I would start fresh and focus on the further adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow.
It was since then that Gore Verbinski was believed to be the director of the fourth film. However, on April 2009, Verbinski informed Disney that he was unavailable to direct the fourth Pirates due to his commitment on further projects such as BioShock (which was later cancelled) and Rango. Verbinski stated:
- I had a fantastic time bringing Pirates to life, and I am eternally grateful to Jerry, Johnny and the rest of the creative and production team. I'm looking forward to all of us crossing paths again in the future.
And so, later in the year, months after his departure, Verbinski was replaced by Rob Marshall as the director of the fourth Pirates film, On Stranger Tides. Verbinski would be reunited with several of cast and crewmen of the Pirates trilogy in at least two of his later films.
Though his intended film project Bioshock was delayed, Gore would still continue to direct films. For his next film Rango, Gore would be reunited with Pirates cast and crewmembers Johnny Depp, Bill Nighy and James Ward Byrkit. His next film project was The Lone Ranger, which was released on July 3, 2013, in which he would be reunited with Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and writers/executive producers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and executive producers Mike Stenson and Chad Oman.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - Director
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - Director
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Director