Ian McShane is Aboard as Blackbeard in ‘Pirates 4’

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Ian McShane (“Deadwood”) will play legendary pirate Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides reports Heat Vision.

Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Teach and he was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies during the early 1700s. However, in Tim Powers’s book, “On Stranger Tides,” of which the film has found basis for its story, Wikipedia offers this description of the story:

This book follows the exploits of John “Jack Shandy” Chandagnac, who travels to the new world after the death of his puppeteer father to confront his uncle, who apparently has made off with the family inheritance. During the voyage, he gets to know a woman named Beth Hurwood and her father Benjamin Hurwood, an Oxford professor. Before they arrive, their ship is waylaid by pirates and, with the help of the professor and his assistant, the captain is killed and Chandagnac is forced to join the pirate crew. The reader discovers a sinister plot being concocted by the professor involving his dead wife, his living daughter, the Fountain of Youth, and Blackbeard. Chandagnac, now known as “Jack Shandy”, must put a stop to these plans and save Beth Hurwood.

The inclusion of the Fountain of Youth has pretty much been known from the end of the third film and ever since production of the fourth was announced. But just how much Jack Sparrow will there be if the original Powers story centers on John Chandagnac?

Talking to Cinematical, Johnny Depp said, “There’s no Keira [Knightley] or Orlando [Bloom] in there, [but] I don’t know. I don’t think we’d ever throw too much Jack Sparrow in there. There will be a little bit of everybody.”

Based on the Wikipedia description, my only guess would be that Sparrow gets mixed up in the exploits of John and Beth, much like he got involved with Elizabeth Swann (Knightley) and Will Turner (Bloom) in the first three films, all of which will result in a meeting with Blackbeard, replacing the villainous Barbossa played by Geoffrey Rush. This is, of course, only speculation. Who knows how Penelope Cruz fits into the mix as Heat Vision describes her character as Jack’s foil and equal.

Filming on the fourth film in the franchise begins in Hawaii this summer for a May 20, 2011 release.