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Curious. Your friends appear to be quite desperate, Jack. Perhaps they no longer believe that a gathering of squabbling pirates can defeat the Flying Dutchman. And so despair leads to betrayal. And you and I are no strangers to betrayal, are we?
~ Beckett to Jack Sparrow.

Lord Cutler Beckett is the secondary antagonist of the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and the main antagonist of it's 2007 back-to-back sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. He can also be considered the Heavy of the entire series.

He is a representative of the East India Trading Company, who wants to kill all pirates and control the seas by finding the heart of Davy Jones and using it to manipulate Jones into doing as they command. He and Jack Sparrow have had encounters in the past that leave both of them with permanent engravings on their skin. Beckett seeks to obtain order in the new world, as well as make Britain grow more powerful.

He was portrayed by the Ian Charleson Award winning actor, Tom Hollander, who also played Isaacs in Hanna.

History

Prior to the events of Dead Man's Chest, Beckett took employment in Great Britain's East India Trading Co at a young age. While on a mission for the Company, he was captured by pirates led by Christophe-Julien de Rapièr. He was tortured for several weeks, an experience which left him with eternal hatred for all maritime outlaws, before he was ransomed by the Company. Over the years, he became the EITC Director for West Africa. Thirteen years prior to the events of Dead Man's Chest, Beckett provided Jack Sparrow (who was under the employment of the E.I.T.C.) with the Wicked Wench to transport "a certain cargo" to the island of New Avalon in the Bahamas for Beckett's superior Viscount Penwallow. On voyage, Sparrow discovered the cargo was slaves and set them free on the island of Kerma off the west coast of Africa. Beckett became enraged upon learning Sparrow's deed. Beckett ordered the Wicked Wench sunk and officialy branded Sparrow a pirate.

Dead Man's Chest

In the film, Cutler arrived at Port Royal carrying arrest warrant for Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann as they helped a pirate named Jack Sparrow escape death. However, he offered Turner and Swann a royal pardon in exchange of delivering Sparrow's compass, though it turns out that Beckett only wants to use the compass to find the Dead Man's Chest, which possesses the heart of Davy Jones as part of King George ll's true plan to take over the Seven Seas and rid the world of a pirate council known as the Brethren Court.

In the end, James Norrington was able to steal Jones' heart and deliver it (along with signed Letters of Marque) to Beckett, who happily appoints Norrington as Admiral of the East India Trading Company. With that in mind, Beckett happily decides to set his plans further in taking control of Jones and his undead crew.

At World End

In the film, Beckett is appointed representative of the company by the King, and is given full command of an entire British Navy armada to wipe out all of the pirates from the Seven Seas. Using the Flying Dutchman, Beckett sends off Jones and his crew to take down many pirates ship without mercy, killing many pirates in the process. He even killed Elizabeth's father. After a while Beckett was even able to obtain the Black Pearl, with Sparrow on board. Beckett then offers a deal to Sparrow: if the latter would lead Beckett to the Brethren Court, he would spare Sparrow's life from Jones' judgement.

However, Sparrow manages to outwit Beckett and flee with the Black Pearl on tow, delaying Beckett enough for Sparrow to warn the Brethren Council of Beckett's ambitions. At one point, Will broads the Flying Dutchman to make a deal with Beckett and Jones. Later, Jones, Beckett and Will go to an island where they meet with Jack, Elizabeth and Hector Barbossa (the main antagonist of the first Pirates of the Caribbean film The Curse of The Black Pearl). Elizabeth agrees to give Jack to Beckett and Jones in exchange for Will's freedom, much to Jack's dismay. Beckett sets Will free and Jones takes Jack abroad. During the meeting, Elizabeth also tells Beckett he will die for killing her father. With that in mind, Jack's teams manage to board on the Flying Dutchman and stab Davy Jones' heart, killing him and freeing his crew from both Jones's and Beckett's control. The Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman then onward to confront Beckett on his ship (known as the Endeavour), firing many rounds. Realizing now that he has lost, Beckett can only watch in horror as he remains on boards while the surviving crew are forced to flee. Beckett slowly descends the deck stairs as the powder magazine of the Endeavour explodes, throwing him overboard and onto the floating EITC flag, symbolizing his death. With Beckett and Jones killed, the armada retreats away in defeat.

Personality

Behind his elegance and manner, Cutler Beckett is a cold, ruthless, arrogant, manipulative and murderous man. He is incredibly, almost eerily calm. Beckett speaks in an incredibly relaxed voice, he rarely or ever expresses his temper and has a sarcastic sense of humor. Even when The Flying Dutchman and The Black Pearl had surrounded his ship and began to fire, he still managed to keep a level-head all though this could be due to shock.

Beckett can come off as being an increasingly xenophobic and magisterial person, he despised pirates and sought to eradicate them from the Caribbean, single-handedly he has caused the deaths of dozens of pirates, even some of them were children. Beckett appeared to be a complete megalomaniac, he sought to locate the Dead Man's Chest that contained that heart of Davy Jones so that he may control Jones ship, The Flying Dutchman and in doing so would control the seven seas. As mentioned before hand, Beckett is a master manipulator, he will bargain or even blackmail someone for his advantage as he did with both Will Turner and Davy Jones. However he wouldn't always follow through on his deals, as when he promised Sao Feng the Black Pearl if Feng captured the crew of the Pearl, something which he would never honor.

After gaining control of the Dead Man's Chest, Beckett appears to have developed paranoia and believed that his new minion Davy Jones would sic his pet, the Kraken on him and this demanded that Jones slay the monster and then killed Governor Swann in case he ever discovered the true significance of the Dead Man's Chest. Beckett comes off as being quite authoritative and confident, perhaps even overconfident and egotistical, and he never once doubted his fleet and given its size and numbers this was justified.

Beckett was neither a religious man nor did he believe in God which was odd for men at that time and refused to become a priest. As an eight year old, Beckett was a very intelligent boy and ahead any of the children of his class; as an eighteen year old person, he was extremely well-educated and knowledgeable, and he was familiar with the workings of Isaac Newton; as a grown man Beckett possessed great skills that help him run the East India Trading Company. He is also extremely biddable, obsequious, manipulative, and smooth-talking, so he will use any means necessary to get what he wants, and he is very deferential and polite.

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Trivia

  • Beckett is the first Pure Evil villain in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, followed by Blackbeard, the main antagonist of the fourth movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
  • He is also the first main villain of the series that is not a pirate followed by Armando Salazar from the fifth film Dead Man Tell No Tales, released ten years after At World's End.
           Pirates of the Caribbean Villains

Black Pearl
Hector Barbossa | Bo'sun | Scratch | Pintel & Ragetti | Crew of the Black Pearl

Flying Dutchman
Davy Jones | Maccus | Crew of the Flying Dutchman

Kingdom of Great Britain
King George ll | Lord Cutler Beckett | East India Trading Company | Scarfield

Queen Anne's Revenge
Edward Teach/Blackbeard | Angelica Teach | Quartermaster

Kingdom of Spain
King Ferdinand VI | The Spaniard | Armando Salazar | Lesaro | Crew of the Silent Mary

Other
Sao Feng | Tai Huang | Mermaids | Jolly Roger