'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' Villain Is Blackbeard, Ian McShane In Negotiations

DESCThe waters are heating up as Disney prepares for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," the upcoming fourth installment in the high seas adventure franchise. Johnny Depp is back for another turn as Captain Jack Sparrow, and this time, he has a new nemesis in tow — none other than Blackbeard himself.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ian McShane is in negotiations to play the villainous Blackbeard in the fourth "Pirates" film. McShane would join the previously cast Depp and Penelope Cruz for an adventure that centers on the Fountain of Youth.

Between the casting of Cruz and now McShane, the upcoming "Pirates" installment is shaping up to be quite exciting. McShane is one of the best actors in the business when it comes to churning out memorable villains like Al Swearengen on HBO's "Deadwood" and Tai Lung in "Kung Fu Panda," among other roles. I can't wait to see what he does with Blackbeard, especially when pitted against Sparrow.

It does make me wonder about Geoffrey Rush's future participation as Barbossa, though. In September, Rush said that he plans to reprise the role for a spring shoot, but there's currently no official word on his casting. As both Barbossa and Blackbeard have similarities on the visual and villainous sides of things, I'm worried that there might not be room for both of them in the new film.

Then again, the idea of the core "Pirates" group consisting of Depp, Cruz, McShane and Rush is way too cool to ignore. Honestly, it might even trump the trio established by Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Rush finds his way to the Fountain of Youth, but even if he doesn't, McShane's participation is still a very encouraging sign that the latest "Pirates" installment is sailing along just fine.

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