During the Tron Legacy panel at this year’s Comic Con, Disney surprised audiences by showing a 3D teaser for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

The teaser consisted of Johnny Depp as the fan-favorite pirate Captain Jack Sparrow speaking directly to the camera, teasing (in his own unique way) the plot of the fourth movie in the franchise.

At first plot details for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, (aka Pirates 4), were being kept under wraps but last month we finally got a full synopsis for the film – confirming that the story will follow Captain Jack’s search for the Fountain of Youth (we already knew that was the general plot but it’s always nice to get confirmation).

But if Captain Jack is be trusted in this teaser, there’s a whole lot more to it, “including, but not limited to, zombies, cut-throats, mermaids, and the vicious and vivacious Penelope Cruz.” Talk about breaking the fourth wall!

Take a look at the teaser below:

The teaser may not provide any real footage from the movie but it was still a great way to tease the audience – until the filmmakers get a bit more work done (particularly the CGI) to show off. The teaser comes after the first set image of Captain Jack appeared online via producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s Twitter.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is thankfully setting sail in a better direction than it took with the second, and particularly third movie (I still use the latter as a helpful tool to send me off to sleep). In terms of main characters, they’ve “replaced” Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley with Sam Claflin and Penelope Cruz. In addition, they’ve added an interesting new villain with Blackbeard (being played by Ian McShane) – as well as selected an interesting piece of mythology to focus the plot on (the Fountain of Youth).

However, despite dumping a lot of the old baggage overboard that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about a lot of the characteristics that made moviegoers first fall in love with the Pirates franchise. The biggest welcome return is probably Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, who is arguably the best character of the original trilogy – and was certainly the best aspect of the third movie, At World’s End.

Hopefully a lot of the fourth movie will focus on the sparring (verbal and otherwise) between Captain Jack and Barbossa.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will hit 3D and regular theaters on May 20th, 2011.