McShane to be PIRATES’ Stranger Blackbeard?

Actor Ian McShane to play Blackbeard?Variety reports that DEADWOOD actor Ian McShane is close to making his mark on a contract to play the villainous Blackbeard in Disney’s fourth high-seas adventure PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES.  The 67-year-old actor from Lancashire, England won a Golden Globe in 2005 for playing Al Swearingen in HBO’s gritty adult western drama.  No doubt he could apply the same character acting power as Blackbeard, even without firing off volleys of f-bombs at the Black Pearl.

While story details of Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott‘s script are still stowed in Davy Jones’ Locker, if McShane signs on he’ll be the treacherous sea dog standing in the way of Johnny Depp‘s Captain Jack Sparrow in his rumored search for the Fountain of Youth.

Penelope Cruz to join the PIRATES crew?Director Rob Marshall reportedly takes the PIRATES franchise in a fresh new direction according to Depp’s comments, and McShane would certainly offer a hard edge to this film’s heavy.  Marshall may also reunite with NINE co-star Penelope Cruz, who Variety also says is engaged in parlay to come aboard Disney’s theatrical juggernaut.

ON STRANGER TIDES currently sails under Jerry Bruckheimer‘s flag of pre-production with shooting to get under way this summer in Hawaii.  The screen story is likely based on the same-titled 1988 novel by Tim Powers.

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