Ian McShane's Eying the Role of Blackbeard in “Pirates 4”

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise got a big shot in the arm with the addition of Ian McShane as the dreaded pirate Blackbeard.

"On Stranger Tides," the fourth installment in the "Pirates" saga, will feature McShane and Johnny Depp in a race to find the fountain of youth, reports Variety.

Few do "evil villain" like McShane, who has honed his monstrosity to razor-sharp precision in "Deadwood" and "Sexy Beast." Sadly, he'll have to clean up his language a bit when he's on board this Disney cruise, but he is still sure to be as menacing as you can hope.

McShane could be just what "Pirates" needs. The first film was a surprisingly entertaining ride -- particularly when you consider it's based on an amusement park ride -- but the fun has been flagging since, which is pretty much what happens after too many runs on any ride.

McShane most recently starred in "44 Inch Chest," a British gangster film from the writing team responsible for "Beast." "44" was a near-great film that sadly lost the plot in the third act.

Penelope Cruz had earlier signed on to join "Pirates 4," which is being directed by Oscar winner Rob Marshall. With movies like "Nine" and "Chicago" on his resume, one wonders if this next film will be a musical. Please don't.

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