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'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' premieres outdoors at Disneyland with Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz

May 8, 2011 | 11:43 am

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" world premiere at Disneyland

Mermaids from "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" A grown man cried after failing to nab Johnny Depp's autograph along the 2,700-foot-long black carpet that lined Main Street in Disneyland on Saturday, leading to the world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stanger Tides," which also stars Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush.

Nearly 25,000 rabid fans had waited, some for up to 10 hours, to catch sight of stars such as Depp, Cruz, Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Jodie Foster, Martin Short, Teri Hatcher, Kirstie Alley, Joey Lawrence, Cat Cora and more as they arrived at the premiere over a period of two hours Saturday evening. (Click the pics to see more photos from the black-carpet premiere.)

Depp came last, wearing an oversized black and white suit and skipping the press line in favor of the fans. But as women screamed and little girls broke into tears, the scene became too intense and Depp's three large handlers pushed him down the carpet, away from the man whose lower lip first quivered, then gave way to hiccuping sobs of disappointment and frustration.

Such was the passion surrounding the screening — the world's first outdoor 3-D premiere — of the fourth installment of the popular "Pirates" franchise, where premiere attendees paid $1,000 a ticket to eat wild salmon and sit in an outdoor theater constructed in New Orleans Square facing a giant screen on Tom Sawyer Island. (Proceeds were donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.)

Also spotted: Cast members Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Keith Richards with his wife, Patti Hansen, plus Vanessa Hudgens, Steven Tyler, Eva Longoria, Natalie Maines, Chelsie Hightower, Ashley Tisdale, Cheryl Burke, Eliza Dushku and Emma Roberts.

With this latest film poised to reach summer audiences, talk of the "Pirates" team making one or two more has swirled, and McNally, who plays Gibbs, Depp's trusty first mate, said that that was indeed quite likely, "There's definitely a feeling that we've got some more to explore. I would say definitely one more," McNally said.

Meanwhile, McShane, who plays the fearsome Blackbeard in the film, joked that he is so good at playing villains because he is a really good guy. He also took time out to explain why, in the modern day, people don't use the word "villain" anymore. "We call them 'complicated people.' " he said.

And Claflin, who plays a missionary who falls in love with a mermaid (mermaids are one of the most compelling aspects of the new film), said he was just trying hard not to float away with all the excitement surrounding the film. "I can't quite believe that I'm here. I can't believe my feet are still on the floor. It's a real honor," he said, staring around the chaotic carpet in amazement.

Tensions ran high as the screening, which was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m,. didn't roll until 9:15, and parents, many dressed as pirates according to the invitation's mandate, smoothed the hair of fussy little ones. Then, before nearly 10,000 park lights were turned off for the show, it began to rain.

Disney, it seemed, could control everything but the weather. A low-grade sense of panic set in amongst the crowd as fans pulled the blankets on the backs of their seats fast around them. It would continue to mist throughout the screening, but it never became a downpour.

Besides, the watery night was appropriate for a film that takes place on the high seas in a swashbuckling plot about Captain Jack Sparrow's (Depp) mad dash to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. The adventure puts him in close quarters with his former nemesis, Captain Hector Barbossa (Rush), and a former lover, Angelica (Cruz), while pitting him against the heartless Blackbeard.

When the film concluded, fireworks burst in the rain-smudged sky above the screen and the park remained open until 1 a.m. so that grown men and women could play.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" opens in theaters May 20.

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-- Jessica Gelt

Top photo: Before the Disneyland world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," producer Jerry Bruckheimer, left, director Rob Marshall and actors Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Ian McShane, Keith Richards, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey and Sam Claflin took the stage. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.

Right photo: Actresses who play mermaids arrive for the world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland. Photo: Mike Nelson / European Pressphoto Agency.

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