“This can be anything you want.” —Louis C.K.
It’s been more than 11 years since Disney announced that they were going to do something unusual: Turn a theme park ride into a movie.
The movie was called “Pirates of the Carribean.” And early on, critics thought it was a terrible idea.
Here’s what one critic had to say about it in March 2002:
“Pirate movies have been bombs for a long time… this is one of those streaks that most producers seem to respect. You have to go back to the 1950’s (and earlier) to find an era when pirate movies were successful and liked. And that, I guess, is why the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was made in the first place, because they didn’t know yet the trend was over.
“….As for a movie with really scary pirates that pulls no punches for the kiddies… don’t be lookin’ ‘ere, arrrrr…”
And the same writer in June 2002, growing a little less skeptical:
“I don’t know whom exactly I thought might be announced as starring in this movie, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t thinking it would be Johnny Depp.”
And the same writer in April 2003, when the first trailers came out:
“The amazing full trailer for this movie did indeed go up last night…. My anticipation for this movie has been building for some time, but this trailer really locks it in there.
“I think the title of “Pirates of the Caribbean” has had a lot of people scratching their heads (and expecting a dopey movie), but clearly Disney, Bruckheimer, Verbinski, Depp and everyone else involved were not setting out to make *that* sort of PotC movie. They’re apparently totally reinventing the property, separate from what you know about the ride, and from what I can see in this trailer… it looks like it might have worked. Wow.”
That movie went on to make $305 million. Johnny Depp was absolutely awesome in it.
But nobody knew that at the start. At the start, it was just a weird idea. There was no director, no stars. Just an idea.
Ideas aren’t worth very much. Some ideas bomb. Some ideas get the right team behind them and become one of the highest-grossing movie franchises in history.
Nothing really matters until you start — especially not what everyone else is saying.
So just go ahead and start.