The first film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl played a key role in laying down the foundation of the franchise and popularising the series among the fans. The film was a massive success and the movie’s main cast was one of the main reasons behind it.
Actor Orlando Bloom starred as Will Turner alongside Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Keira Knightley. However, it seems as if Bloom wasn’t the first choice. Legendary star Heath Ledger was also shortlisted for the role but Bloom was able to snatch it because the director of the movie, Gore Verbinski, liked his work in the Lord of the Rings franchise.
Heath Ledger was supposed to play Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
As per IMDb, actor Heath Ledger was shortlisted for the role of Will Turner in 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. It was reportedly down to Orlando Bloom and Heath Ledger, but when the director of the movie, Gore Verbinski, found out that Bloom appeared in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he decided to hire Bloom. Verbinski was sure Bloom would be the more profitable option.
Bloom played the role of Legolas in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). With his work in the trilogy, Bloom found fame at an early stage of his career.
Was Heath Ledger a better option?
It’s not like Ledger wasn’t a well-known name in the industry in the early 2000s. The actor made his feature film debut in the Australian film Blackrock (1997) and quickly became popular with his work as Patrick Verona in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). Certainly, Bloom’s work in the Lord of the Rings franchise helped him stand out, but Ledger wasn’t any less. Later in his career, Ledger received many nominations and prestigious awards.
His most iconic movie, The Dark Knight was released nearly six months after his death. For his work in the film, Ledger posthumously won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
As for Bloom, he went on to play Will Turner in three more Pirates of the Caribbean movies, becoming a fan-favorite character. Thanks to his talent and dedication, Bloom proved that he was indeed the profitable option.