Disney is gearing up for production on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides . In recent weeks we’ve seen several significant announcements including the casting addition of Penelope Cruz and the selection of a shooting location in Hawaii. Now, we have one more casting addition in the form of Ian McShane (Deadwood, Hot Rod) who will play the role of Blackbeard.

As we know, the fourth installment is based on the book “On Stranger Tides” by Tim Powers, hence the film’s title. The story involves a pirate named Jack (Sparrow), the Fountain of Youth and the infamous Blackbeard, some of which were long-speculated story points for the next movie in the franchise. Disney optioned the book to use it as a basis for their next Pirate adventure and you can see the synopsis for the novel below to get an idea of what the movie may include.

Puppeteer John Chandagnac, bound for Jamaica to recover stolen money from his uncle, becomes Jack Shandy after pirates attack his ship and force him to join their crew. Shandy’s struggle to accept his new life grounds the story for readers, even as Blackbeard and vodun magicians whisk everyone away to dreamlike lands where the Fountain of Youth itself awaits. The chaotic sea battles sing, though at times key events happen so quickly that they get lost in the shuffle as Jack tries to comprehend where he’s going and what’s at stake.

I think McShane is a perfect choice for the role, not only for his very unique and distinctive facial features, but for his great voice acting ability. In addition to acting in many films and television series,’ McShane has voiced characters in many films ranging from the Third, Coraline, Kung Fu Panda all the way to an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. Awesome.

Blackbeard's Costume - Click to Enlarge

What do you think of the choice for the famous pirate Blackbeard?

Rob Marshall is directing Pirates 4 off a script by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot. Jerry Bruckheimer is of course producing again. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is slated to sail into theaters on May 20, 2011 and will start production this summer.

Source: THR

Blackbeard art by Chris Guldager