Russell Brand and Pirates 4 Thoughts

He stole scenes in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He ticked off a lot of people with his controversial performance as host of the MTV Video Music Awards. And he's been making trouble while also making people laugh across the pond for years.

Who else but Russell Brand could they cast as Captain Jack Sparrow's brother in Pirates of the Caribbean 4?

That's right, according to The Daily Mail Russell Brand might play Jack Sparrow's Brother. Now, I've never been the biggest fan of the POTC franchise. I felt that Johnny Depp's loopy, maniacally genius, Oscar-nominated performance as Captain Jack was the only redeeming quality of the first film, but he'd already begun wearing thin by the end of the sequel. By the time At World's End was released, I was so ambivalent towards the franchise I didn't even bother checking spoiler sites to find out how it ended. And I groaned loudly when I heard they'd be coming back for a fourth installment.

But I have to admit that if this news about Brand is true, Disney just might have sold me another ticket for this ride. I'm not going to try to make an argument that Brand is as good an actor as Depp (because he's just not), but I definitely believe he could be just as good of a pirate. And the resemblance between Brand and Captain Jack is almost startling. Brand already walks and talks like a drunk, slightly effeminate pirate. He dresses like a pirate. He's got that crazy hair. And his penchant for making mischief proves his moral compass is just as wobbly. Forget playing Captain Jack's brother. Russell Brand is already a real-life version of the captain!

My only fear for this teaming is that it could turn out to be too much of a good thing. What made Depp's performance as Captain Jack so memorable was that he created such an anarchic presence in an otherwise run-of-the-mill kiddie action movie. But since then, Captain Jack has become (sorry, there's no way around the pun here) his own brand. It's been over a year since the last POTC film, and I still saw almost as many Captain Jacks roaming around New York City this past Halloween as I did Joe the Plumbers. He's become a pop-culture icon, and Disney has shown no hesitation in milking him for all he's worth. I fear that by adding another member to the Sparrow family (which also includes Keith Richards as Jack's proud papa), they could dilute the quality of the original.

But here's hoping that Brand will be able to go as over the top as Johnny Depp has without taking the franchise overboard. Welcome aboard, Russell!