THR is reporting that Academy Award-winning actress Penélope Cruz will be adding a bit of spicy flavor to the upcoming fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which is titled On Stranger Tides.

Details on Cruz’s character are being kept under tight wraps, although it is being floated that, “she is to be [Jack] Sparrow’s foil and equal in many ways.”

At first mention it seems odd to think that Penélope Cruz would be hopping aboard Pirates of the Caribbean. Then again, if you had asked me back in the early 2000 era if I’d ever expect actors like Johnny Depp, Stellan Skarsgård, Bill Nighy or Geoffrey Rush to make a series of films about a rusted Disney ride, I would’ve laughed at you. If you had said the names Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley were doing it, though, I would have said, “Figures.”

So there you have it: Cruz will be joining Johnny Depp and director Rob Marshall (who directed Cruz in Nine) for On Stranger Tides. The script is being written by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio and the story is based on a novel by Tim Powers. Shooting is slated to begin in Hawaii this summer. Jerry Bruckheimer will once again super-produce the movie.

Happy to hear that Penélope Cruz is setting sail with the Pirates crew?

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is slated to hit theaters on May 20, 2011.

Source: THR