Given all the fuss surrounding Keith Richards “joke” the other day about snorting a bit of his father’s ashes cut into a little coke, I figure any blogger that didn’t address the subject would be falling well short of expectations. So, here goes.
I was amused to read a Los Angeles Times item this afternoon discussing the angst at Walt Disney Studios over the Rolling Stones guitarist’s comment and its impact on the marketing campaign for the latest entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean motion picture franchise, due to hit theaters this May.
Richards, of course, has a cameo role in the film as the father of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow character. Depp has previously said he has patterned his character’s look and demeanor after Richards.
Disney’s consternation over Richards’ claim that he snorted a bit of dear old dad is understandable–this is meant as a family picture, after all. I’ve got a nephew who is, I assume, a typically obsessed fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and like many boys his age he’s embraced this pirate thing pretty hard. I’d certainly hate to see him take the obsession another step following the film’s spring release and start embracing Keith Richards’ lifestyle. I’ll bet his dear old dad wouldn’t be too thrilled, either.
Disney’s hand-wringing over what Richards did or didn’t put up his nose (he’s since claimed the whole snorting pops thing was just a joke) is also amusing, though. I mean, the guy they chose to put in their movie is. . . Keith Richards. This is a guy as legendary for being the poster child for rock and roll excess as for his rhythm guitar genius. This is a guy who was said to have once had his blood changed to beat a heroin addiction (apparently just a rumor, he also later claimed that story was a joke–though it’s so rock and roll you’d like to believe it was true).
So the L.A. Times story says the Disney folks likely won’t involve Richards in any publicity efforts for the new film, and adds that the studio says it’s made no decision regarding whether there will be additional Pirates films after this one. On the other hand, the story also said the second Pirates movie has made $1 billion in worldwide box office since being released last summer. If this one does as well, do you think there will be discussions about Pirates IV?
And if Keith’s character tests well in screenings, you think someone might suggest bringing him back, too? So then the question is–for the insurance industry anyway–who’s on the coverage for Pirates IV?