Another tidbit from the POTC list. This about something we've talked about before here, just after the movie opened. Thought you would be interested in an update. This is form the script writer's forum/website.
AWE-Extra Green Flash (Answered by Ted)
"when Will leaves Elizabeth after their day on the island, there is a flash of green at sunset as he disappears. WHAT does that flash signify, as opposed to that when Jack returns from the Locker, as opposed to that when Will returns to Elizabeth after ten years?"
Posted by Ted Elliott on Friday, 15 June 2007
The truth revealed:
At the time that shot of the Dutchman vanishing into the sunset was commissioned from ILM, it was more likely that the final coda scene would *not* be included in the movie, then would be. The Green Flash in that scene, then, would serve as a something of a *promise* to the audience, that Elizabeth's and Will's faith would be rewarded.
Once the decision was made to include the final scene, it was too late (and too expensive) to re-do the "Dutchman vanishes" scene. The alternatives were: cut it entirely, or include it as is.
So we included it as is. At the time, we didn't see a problem with it, since Pintel was the source of the information that some people say it means a soul has crossed back to the other side, and he's not a particularly reliable source of information (it's implied that Gibbs was going to say that, sure, but it's been well-established that Gibbs tends to prefer the best version of a story, rather than the truth (from whom did we first hear the phrase "sea turtles," hm?)
However, obviously, we were wrong -- it became apparent after the movie came out that it was a problem for a number of people. Fortunately, I got an e-mail from a fan who posts over on Keep to the Code ("Stab O' the Cutlass," aka Valerie), asking if the Green Flash was for the members of the Dutchman crew that stayed behind in the world of the living.
A simple, clear, logical explanation for a question raised by the movie (that we did not *intend* to be left to the audience to decide, that is) -- and, as far as I'm concerned, it's canon.
So that's why there's a Green Flash when the Dutchman vanishes: because not all of the now-free crew of the Dutchman made the same choice as Bootstrap.
If you missed those initial writers discussions, just click the tag for this post, and you'll be able to track them down.