EXCLUSIVE: ‘Pirates 4′ Producer Jerry Bruckheimer Confirms Geoffrey Rush Return, Penelope Cruz As Blackbeard’s Daughter

It’s been quite a ride for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” since it was first announced last September. First there was concern over whether star Johnny Depp would return following Dick Cook’s departure from Disney. Then a few story details emerged, a director was confirmed and new stars were confirmed while old ones stepped away.

Speaking to producer Jerry Bruckheimer at ShoWest in Las Vegas last week, MTV’s Larry Carroll learned a bit more about these new characters.

“We have a new villain, Blackbeard, who’s the nastiest pirate ever. That’s Ian McShane,” Bruckheimer said. McShane is perhaps most memorable for his role on HBO’s “Deadwood” as the sometimes-villainous/sometimes-benevolent but always self-serving bar/brothel owner Al Swearengen. “And a little romance between Captain Jack and the character Penelope plays,” the producer continued. “There’s a lot of humor, she brings a lot of humor to it. And the fact that she’s so feisty. She plays the daughter of Blackbeard.”

Bruckheimer confirmed that Depp, Cruz and McShane will all be sailing out for “Pirates 4″ in June, along with Captain Barbossa actor Geoffrey Rush. That’s not all however. Bruckheimer couldn’t say who yet, but it appears we’ll be seeing some other new characters joining in on the latest “Pirates” adventure as well.

“We’re looking for some new kids that’ll be in it. So we’re testing right now,” he said. Bruckheimer also cautioned fans not to worry over the coming changes; this is still “Pirates of the Caribbean” after all.

“We’re gonna take a whole new direction, but Johnny’s gonna be back as Captain Jack. It’s a continuation of what you saw the last time, he’s searching for the Fountain of Youth.”