Penelope Cruz May Join Johnny Depp In ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

There’s plenty of mystery surrounding “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” We know that Johnny Depp will reprise his Jack Sparrow role. Also, that director Rob Marshall intends to take a fresh approach with the series. And we know that the plot will in some way involve the fabled Fountain of Youth.

Beyond that, there’s not been much else to say. As Disney’s planned May 2011 release draws closer however, more info is emerging. The latest pegs actress Penelope Cruz as being in the midst of negotiations to join the cast, as revealed on The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog.

I wonder if this casting news has anything to do with Cruz’s most recent role, in the Marshall-directed “Nine,” for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. There are no specific details provided about the character she would play, though the article does note that she would serve as “Sparrow’s foil and equal in many ways.” A love interest perhaps? Is Jack Sparrow even capable of such emotions?

There’s certainly some cast to be filled out, as we learned only a few weeks ago from the actor himself that Orlando Bloom will not be returning to reprise his role as Will Turner. This echoes Marshall’s own comments in December, when he told us that he couldn’t commit to Bloom or co-star Keira Knightley coming back.

It will be interesting to see how “On Stranger Tides” develops. While Depp is the undisputed star of the series, the stories have focused primarily on Bloom’s Turner and his exploits. Sparrow will presumably be the central focus of the story in the coming outing, though we’ll hopefully see Geoffrey Rush reprise his Barbossa role as well. Cruz — or the character she’s up for, at least — adds an interesting new wrinkle, and lends credence to the idea that Depp will be front-and-center for the coming fourth movie.

Would you like to see Cruz join Depp in “On Stranger Tides”? Where would you like to see the story go?