Davy Jones (Pirates of the Caribbean)


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Davy Jones (''Pirates of the Caribbean'')

Davy Jones
Pirates of the Caribbean character
Portrayed by Bill Nighy
Appearance(s) Dead Man's Chest
At World's End
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Gender Male
Occupation Captain, Flying Dutchman
Flagship captain of Beckett's E.I.T.C. Armada
Guide for souls lost at sea (abandoned)
Brethren status Involved in the 1st Court
Ship(s) served on Flying Dutchman
Weaponry Left hand claw
Single-handed broadsword, DMC
Norrington's Smallsword, AWE.
Ships attacked

Edinburgh Trader
Black Pearl
Various unnamed ships

Davy Jones is a fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, portrayed by Bill Nighy. He appears in the second and third films, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, respectively, and cameos in the series' fifth installment, Dead Men Tell No Tales. He is the captain of the Flying Dutchman (based on the ghost ship of the same name).

The computer-generated imagery used to complete Jones was named by Entertainment Weekly as the tenth favorite computer generated film character in film history, behind King Kong in 2007. The work on Davy Jones by Industrial Light and Magic earned them the 2006 Academy Award for Visual Effects for Dead Man's Chest.

The character is based on the superstition of Davy Jones' Locker. In contrast to the historical legends, the film's Jones is a villain.

Conception and creation

Before officially casting Bill Nighy, producers also met with Jim Broadbent, Iain Glen and Richard E. Grant for the role.

Like the entire crew of the Flying Dutchman (except "Bootstrap Bill"), Davy Jones's physical appearance is completely 3-D computer-generated. Nighy's performance was recorded using motion capture during actual filming on the set, with Nighy wearing several markers in both a grey suit and his face, rather than in a studio during post-production. Nighy also wore make-up around his eyes, since the original plan was to use his real eyes, if necessary to get the proper lighting, in the digital character; he also wore make-up on his lips and around his mouth, to assist in the motion capture of his character's Scottish accent. Briefly during the third film, Jones appears as a human for a single scene, played by Nighy in costume. Several reviewers have in fact mistakenly identified Nighy as wearing prosthetic makeup due to the computer-generated character's photorealism.

Design and appearance

Davy Jones' physique was designed by the films' producers to be a mixture of various aquatic flora and fauna features. Jones' most striking feature is his cephalopod-like head, with octopus-like appendages giving the illusion of a thick beard. The major features of the Davy Jones' physique bear strong resemblance to the mythical Cthulhu created by H.P. Lovecraft. In Lovecraft's short story "The Call of Cthulhu" he describes the creature as "...a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet..."

It is revealed in the bonus features of the Special Edition DVD that the face's color was partly inspired by a coffee-stained styrofoam cup which was then scanned into ILM's computers to be used as the skin. The character of Davy Jones has also a crustacean-style claw for his left arm, a long tentacle in place of the index finger on his right hand, and the right leg of a crab (resembling a pegleg). He also speaks with a clearly distinguishable, albeit thick, Scottish accent that's slightly altered to account for his lack of a nose, and presumably, a nasal cavity and/or sinuses. Originally, director Gore Verbinski wanted Jones to be Dutch, as he is the captain of the "Dutch-man". Nighy however responded, "I don't do Dutch. So I decided on Scottish." Nighy later revealed that Scottish sitcom Still Game influenced his choice of accent, stating: "I had to find an accent no one else had. Although Alex Norton is Scottish, mine was slightly different. We wanted something that was distinctive and authoritative...I have seen Still Game and I am a fan. The sort of extremity of the accent was inspired in that area."

Fictional character biography

Before the films

Davy Jones, a human, fell in love with Calypso, a sea goddess. She granted him immortality and entrusted him with the task of ferrying the souls of those who died at sea to the next world. Calypso gave him the Flying Dutchman to accomplish this task. She swore that after ten years, she would meet him and they would spend one day together before he returned to his duties. When Jones returned to shore after ten years, Calypso failed to appear. Believing Calypso had betrayed him, Davy Jones turned the Pirate Brethren against her, saying that if she were removed from the world, they would be able to claim the seas for themselves. They assembled in the First Brethren Court and Jones taught them how to imprison her into her human form.

Despite betraying her, he still loved Calypso, and in despair and guilt for what he had done, Jones carved out his own heart and placed it in the "Dead Man's Chest". The Chest was sealed and placed within a larger wooden chest, along with Jones' numerous love letters to Calypso and all other items having to do with her, except his matching musical locket. The chest was then buried on Isla Cruces. Jones kept the chest's key with him at all times. With Calypso gone, Jones abandoned his duty and returned to the Seven Seas. As a result of this, Jones gradually became monstrous, his physical appearance merging with various aquatic fauna. Sailors everywhere would fear him to the death, for Davy Jones had turned fierce and cruel, with an insatiable taste for all things brutal. Jones recruits dying sailors by promising them a reprieve from death in exchange for 100 years of service aboard the Dutchman. He comes to command the Kraken, a feared mythological sea monster.

In the book series about Jack Sparrow's earlier adventures, Davy Jones shows interest in the Sword of Cortes, also sought by Jack. He is a minor character, but appears in the seventh book as Jack and his crew encounter the Flying Dutchman.

Jones also appears in the prequel book about Jack's first years as a captain. He helps the Brethren Court to identify the traitor among them, who turns out to be Borya Palachnik, the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea.

Before the events of the first film, Davy Jones approaches Sparrow with a deal: Jones will raise the Black Pearl back from Davy Jones' Locker, allowing Sparrow to be captain for 13 years if Sparrow agrees to serve on the Dutchman for 100 years. This event, referenced in the films, also appears in the book series.

Dead Man's Chest

Davy Jones first appears in the second film; Dead Man's Chest he attempts to collect on his bargain with Jack Sparrow. Sparrow argues that he was only captain for two years before one of his crew members Hector Barbossa committed mutiny, but Jones rejects this explanation. Sparrow then attempts to escape the deal by providing Will Turner as a substitute for himself. Jack strikes a new deal with Jones; Jack will be spared enslavement on the Dutchman if he brings Jones one hundred souls to replace his own within the next three days. Jones accepts, removes the black spot from Jack's hand, and retains Will, keeping him as a "good faith payment."

While on the Dutchman, Will challenges Jones at a game of liar's dice. They wager Will's soul for an eternity of service against the key to the Dead Man's Chest. Bootstrap Bill joins the game and purposefully loses to save Will. During the game, Will learns where Jones keeps the key. The next morning, Jones realizes the key is gone and summons the Kraken to destroy the ship carrying Turner, who actually survives. The Dutchman then sails to Isla Cruces to stop Sparrow from getting the Chest.

Arriving, Jones sends his crew to retrieve the Chest; they return to him with it. The Dutchman then chases after the Black Pearl, but is outrun. Jones summons the Kraken, which drags Jack Sparrow and the Pearl to Davy Jones's Locker. He afterwards opens the Chest only to find his heart missing; it having been taken by James Norrington, who gives it to Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company.

At World's End

See also: Cutler Beckett

In the third film At World's End, Jones is under the control of Cutler Beckett and the East India Trading Company. Beckett possesses the heart, and threatens to have soldiers shoot it if Jones disobeys. Beckett orders Jones to sink pirate ships, but is infuriated when Jones leaves no survivors; Beckett wants prisoners to interrogate about the Brethren Court. Beckett orders Jones to kill the Kraken. Later, he orders Jones attack the Pirate Lord Sao Feng; Jones subsequently kills Sao and captures Elizabeth Swann, who had been named captain by Sao Feng upon his death. When Admiral James Norrington dies on board the Dutchman helping Elizabeth escape, Jones claims Norrington's sword (originally crafted by Will Turner). Jones then attempts mutiny against the EITC. However, Mercer successfully defends the Chest, forcing Jones to continue under Beckett's service.

Beckett later summons Jones to his ship, the Endeavour. Jones confronts Will Turner and divulges his past with Calypso, while learning of Jack Sparrow's escape from the Locker. The three men then arrive at Shipwreck Cove.

Jones confronts Calypso, locked in the brig of the Black Pearl. The two former lovers discuss Calypso's betrayal and Jones's curse. Calypso temporarily lifts his curse, allowing him to be seen briefly in his original human form. Jones tells her that his heart will always belong to her. Calypso, unaware that Jones betrayed her to the first Brethren Court, says that after her release, she will fully give her love to him.

Jones participates in a parley in which the EITC trades Turner for Sparrow. After Calypso is freed, Will reveals that Jones betrayed her. She escapes, refusing to aid either the pirates or Jones. Her fury creates a monstrous maelstrom. The Dutchman and the Pearl enter it and battle.

During the battle Jones kills Mercer and retrieves the key to the Chest. Sparrow and Jones fight for control of the chest in the rigging of the Dutchman. Jack acquires both the Chest and the key while Jones battles Will and Elizabeth. Jones quickly overpowers Elizabeth, and is subsequently impaled through the back by Will. Jones, unharmed, holds Will at sword-point. Jack threatens to stab the heart, and Jones cruelly stabs Will. Remembering Will as his son, Bootstrap Bill briefly fights and overpowers Jones, but is quickly defeated. Jones attempts to kill Bootstrap, but Jack helps Will stab the heart. Jones then calls out for Calypso, before tumbling to his death in the maelstrom.

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