- Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow:
- An eccentric pirate noted for a slightly drunken swagger, accompanied by slurred speech and awkwardly flailing hand gestures. He has gained a reputation with made-up stories of how he escaped from the deserted island he was put on. He is determined to regain the Black Pearl, which he captained ten years before. The role was originally written especially for Hugh Jackman, thus the name "Jack Sparrow"; however, he was not well known outside of his native Australia, so Disney cast the more famous Depp as Jack. Depp found the script quirky: rather than trying to find treasure, the crew of the Black Pearl were trying to return it in order to lift their curse; also, the traditional mutiny had already taken place. Initially Sparrow was, according to Bruckheimer, "a young Burt Lancaster, just the cocky pirate." At the first read-through, Depp surprised the rest of the cast and crew by portraying the character in an off-kilter manner. After researching 18th-century pirates, Depp compared them to modern rock stars and decided to base his performance on Keith Richards, who would later appear as Jack's father in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Although Verbinski and Bruckheimer had confidence in Depp, partly because it would be Bloom who was playing the traditional Errol Flynn-type, Disney executives were confused, asking Depp whether the character was drunk or gay, and Michael Eisner even proclaimed while watching rushes, "He's ruining the film!" Depp answered back, "Look, these are the choices I made. You know my work. So either trust me or give me the boot."
- Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa:
- The captain of the Black Pearl, he was Captain Jack Sparrow's first mate before he led a mutiny ten years before. He and his crew stole cursed Aztec gold, for which they are cursed to walk the earth forever. Verbinski approached Rush for the role of Barbossa, as he knew he would not play it with attempts at complexity, but with a simple villainy that would suit the story's tone.
- Orlando Bloom as Will Turner:
- A blacksmith's apprentice working in Port Royal, he is in love with Elizabeth Swann. Will struggles with the fact his father, "Bootstrap" Bill, was a pirate, unable to reconcile that he was a good man too. Bloom read the script after Geoffrey Rush, with whom he was working on Ned Kelly, suggested it to him.
- Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann:
- The daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann, Elizabeth has been fascinated with pirates since childhood. During the Black Pearl's attack on Port Royal, she gives her name as Turner and is mistaken for "Bootstrap" Bill's child. She also is in love with Will Turner. Elizabeth abandons the "damsel in distress" image and in time her personality changes to that of a noble pirate. Knightley came as a surprise to Verbinski; he had not seen her performance in Bend It Like Beckham and was impressed by her audition.
- Jack Davenport as Commodore Norrington:
- An officer in the Royal Navy who is in love with Elizabeth and has a deep-seated dislike for pirates. Early in the film, he remarks that Jack Sparrow is "the worst pirate I have ever heard of."
- Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs:
- Jack Sparrow's friend and first mate, he was once a sailor for the Royal Navy. He is usually the one who tells the legends of Jack Sparrow.
- Zoe Saldana as Anamaria:
- A female pirate who signs up to join Will Turner and Mr Gibbs for a chance to confront Jack Sparrow for stealing her ship. He promises her the Interceptor in an attempt to assuage her.
- Jonathan Pryce as Governor Weatherby Swann:
- Governor of Jamaica, based in Port Royal, and father of Elizabeth Swann. Tom Wilkinson was negotiated with to play the part, but the role went to Pryce, whom Depp idolized.
- Lee Arenberg as Pintel:
- A pirate aboard the Black Pearl. He and Ragetti dress up as women to provide the distraction that allows the cursed pirates to board the Dauntless near the end of the movie. He and Ragetti provide the majority of the comic relief for the pirate side of the story.
- Mackenzie Crook as Ragetti:
- A pirate aboard the Black Pearl, Pintel's buddy, with a wooden eye that never seems to stay in place.
- David Bailie as Cotton:
- A sailor who had his tongue cut out, is now mute and has a macaw to talk for him. He lived in Tortuga until Jack and Will hired him to help rescue Elizabeth.
- Martin Klebba as Marty:
- A dwarf pirate who also lived in Tortuga until hired by Jack and Will to rescue Elizabeth.
- Giles New as Murtogg
- Murtogg is a dutiful but daft Royal Marine. He serves under the command of Commodore Norrington. He is often tricked by Jack Sparrow. He is partners with Milroy.
- Angus Barnett as Milroy
- Milroy is a dutiful but daft Royal Marine. He is highly suspicious of superstition. He is partners with Murtogg.
- Greg Ellis as Theodore Groves
- Groves is the Lieutenant Commander of the British Royal Navy. After Jack Sparrow and Will Turner steal the Interceptor he says, "That has got to be the best pirate I have ever seen." The opposite of Norrington's earlier statement, "That is without doubt the worst pirate I have ever heard of". He is shot by the Spaniard in On Stranger Tides.
- Damian O'Hare as Gillette
- Gillette is the Lieutenant of the Royal Navy. When Elizabeth falls off the fort he stops Commodore Norrington from jumping in the water to save her stating that the rocks would kill him. He is killed by Blackbeard in On Stranger Tides.
Read more about this topic: Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
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