It’s hard to say who’s the real pirate in this story, but as it recently came to my attention that the touring tall ship, the HMS Bounty II, is being touted as the Black Pearl in promotional material for its current stop in Newburgh, NY, I felt interested parties deserve a warning: the replica ship originally built for the Marlon Brando film Mutiny on the Bounty did sail in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies alright, but she never was, nor never shall be the Black Pearl.
The particular flyer in question specifically mentions the first film of the series when in fact, there was no actual Black Pearl ship for the first installment, which used a combination of floating stages and CG to create the phantom ship. A ship was built for use in the second, third and fourth installments, but it was built around the hull of the HMS Sunset and is currently in Hawaii where it’s being prepared to shoot Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides this Summer.
Although it could simply be chalked up to an uncorrected misunderstanding, there appears to be no goodwill on behalf of the HMS Bounty Organization to correct it. In fact, this isn’t the first time the HMS Bounty has been promoted as the Black Pearl. The ship’s official site is of little help in that it doesn’t outright make the claim, but does make a questionable assertion on the homepage in which it notes ‘in 1960, it was Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty. Today, it is Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.’ However, if one had the patience to dig a whole lot deeper, one would also find the following on this page: ‘They had Bounty brought down to Bayou-La -Batre, Alabama, in the winter of 2005, to the same shipyard where the Black Pearl herself was built. The site was chosen both for its highly-skilled crews and sheer size. As Captain Walbridge observed, “They could do everything there, and on three ships at once.”‘
So for those wondering, yes, the HMS Bounty II was in POTC 2 & 3 but her credited role is that of the Edinburgh Trader, not the Black Pearl. On that same token, the Flying Dutchman is ‘alive and well’ and has its own permanent residence in Disney’s Castaway Cay where she can be viewed, but not boarded, by guests of the Disney Cruise Line.