John Myhre is an American production designer who has been working in Hollywood since the late 1980s. He received his first Academy Award nomination, for Best Art Direction, in 1998, for Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth, bringing him to the forefront of Hollywood production designers. John Myhre was the production designer of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Early life and career
Having worked in Hollywood since the late 1980s, Myhre received Oscar® nominations for both Elizabeth and Dreamgirls, BAFTA Award nominations for Elizabeth, Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha and Art Directors Guild nominations for Elizabeth, Chicago, Dreamgirls and Tony Bennett: An American Classic. He was also honored by the Hollywood Film Festival as Production Designer of the Year in 2006.
Beginning his career as a property master, Myhre then served as art director for several features before taking on full production design responsibilities in the early 1990s. In addition to the above, Myhre's other feature-film credits as production designer have included Foxfire, Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, X-Men, Ali, Haunted Mansion and Wanted.
Before working on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Myhre had previously collaborated with director Rob Marshall with Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, Nine and television's Tony Bennett: An American Classic. Myhre was honored with Academy Awards® for Best Achievement in Art Direction for both Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha and was nominated for Nine. Myhre won an Emmy Award® in the category of Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety, Music or Nonfiction Programming for Tony Bennett: An American Classic as well as an Art Directors Guild Award for Memoirs of a Geisha.
Pirates of the Caribbean
In his fifth collaboration with director Rob Marshall, John Myhre worked alongside Marshall and producer Jerry Bruckheimer as the production designer of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in the Pirates series. For Myhre, the task to design the Pirates of the Caribbean epic was literally a dream come true. "Pirates of the Caribbean is just my favorite ride at Disneyland. I think I've been on the ride every year since it opened in 1967. I grew up in Seattle, but my family came down once a year to Disneyland."
Throughout making On Stranger Tides, John Myhre made many contributions, including making the atmospheric mermaid pools on the grounds of the North Shore's Turtle Bay Resort, considered his biggest "build" in Oahu, and the Whitecap Bay set. His most well-known contribution to the film was redesigning the Sunset, which originally portrayed the Black Pearl in the second and third films, into the Queen Anne's Revenge. Myhre used baroque details, almost like Versailles, which would make the ship look really rich and elegant. He also used Kostnice, the famous "Church of Bones" in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, when adding skulls and skeletons into the actual design of the ship.