Although Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (and particularly 3) almost solidified the fact that they should not make another one from a critical point of view (read: they were bad), based on the fact that combined the franchise has made over $2.5 billion it was pretty much inevitable they’d make a Pirates of the Caribbean 4.

At first news was sketchy (Depp’s crucial return was even in doubt at one point) but as of late things seem to be going full-steam ahead for the fourth Pirates. Notably, Johnny Depp will be returning as fan favorite Captain Jack Sparrow, and joining him will be Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane (the latter playing villain Blackbeard).

The latest we have on Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is from super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer. He recently spoke to MTV and gave some details – one in particular regarding Cruz’s character that (as far as we know) hasn’t been revealed until now.

The Cruz information is who exactly her character is in the film: Bruckheimer revealed she will be playing the daughter of McShane’s Blackbeard. That’s interesting, considering they look nothing like one another (although Hollywood make-up artists these days can make just about anybody look like anybody). It’s already been said that she will be “[Jack] Sparrow’s foil and equal in many ways,” but Bruckheimer now adds that she brings a lot of humor to the film and there’s, “the fact that she’s so feisty.” Wow, nice to see she’s a replacement for completely different character from the one Keira Knightly played.

For folks out there who were hoping the fourth Pirates flick would get rid of all the romance that clogged up the second and third movies, Bruckheimer says that there will be some romance between Captain Jack and Cruz’s character. Hopefully it won’t be at the same level as it was with Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in the first three movies (please don’t let it get to that stage again!). Here’s hoping it’s just some playful flirting thrown in there during the action scenes that adds to the fun and doesn’t detract from it.

Will Captain Jack finally meet his match?

Other details Bruckheimer spilled were that McShane’s Blackbeard is, “the nastiest pirate ever.”. I’m really looking forward to seeing what McShane does with that character (of course we won’t get his brilliant swearing found in HBO’s Deadwood).

New actors are in the process of being cast for certain unnamed roles, with tests already underway. Bruckheimer also confirmed something we pretty much already knew/suspected: Geoffrey Rush will be back as Captain Barbossa (he was arguably the best character in the last couple of movies).

Finally, as far as the direction they’re thinking of going, Bruckheimer says that while it’s a continuation of what’s come before in the franchise, they’re, “going to take a whole new direction.” Of course, we already know that the plot (based on the book by Tim Powers) is about the search for the Fountain of Youth. Which, even as someone who disliked (to say the least) the second and third movies, is a great plot for a Pirates movie.

Captain Jack Sparrow will search for the Fountain of Youth

What do you think of the details Bruckheimer has recently given? Surprised that Cruz will be playing Blackbeard’s daughter? What do you think of the fact romance between her and Captain Jack will come into play? And are you happy with the plot of the fourth movie?

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is set to shoot this June under the direction of Rob Marshall (Chicago). It sails into theaters on May 20th, 2011.

Source: MTV (via Coming Soon)