I was watching Four of the Apocalypse the other day when it dawned on me. Tomas Milian’s chracter Chacho has an uncanny resemblence to Captain Jack Sparrow. Was the captain’s get up stolen from this nearly forgotten spagehtti western? Probably not, which is assuming that the creators of Johnny Depp’s character either never saw this movie, or if they did forgot the character entirely. Based on my research, this seems to be the case.
If you pop in the DVD for Curse of the Black Pearl turn on the commentary. Somewhere in the film you’ll hear the the screenwriters admit that Bugs Bunny and Groucho Marx were the captain’s influences. Bugs Bunny??? Really??? Further evidence against the Milian connection comes in the form of an interview Depp and Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer conducted in 2003 where Depp admits that Keith Richards served as inspiration for the character (1).
But before we close this chapter, remember there is always the possibility of conspiracy. Perhaps one of the producers or writers who made the series found true inspiration in the beloved Chaco. Yet, so the conspirator reasoned, this was a Disney picture after all and Chaco’s character was downright evil. The only way then to homage poor Chaco was to model Jack Sparrow after his liking but never admit it, not to a soul. Perhaps one day an incident similar to Christian Spurling’s confession will come to light (this is the dude that admitted he made up the whole Loch Ness monster thing). For now we will simply have to wait.