Update: Disney has announced which actor is playing "the new Orlando Bloom" character. See below for details.
Despite initial hiccups (such as whether Johnny Depp would return or not) Pirates of the Caribbean 4 has been moving forward quite smoothly for awhile, especially when it comes to casting.
After it was confirmed that Depp would be returning as fan-favorite Captain Jack Sparrow, we learned of two new major casting additions: Ian McShane (as the villain Blackbeard) and Penelope Cruz (as Blackbeard's daughter and Captain Jack's "equal").
Now we're hearing word of some possible new Pirates of the Caribbean 4 casting additions, one of which may be pretty major.
Firstly, Production Weekly Tweeted that Stephen Graham (Public Enemies) is currently in talks to star in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 as a character called "Scram." No other details were given, but I'm guessing the character is one of the pirates either helping or hindering Captain Jack's quest to find the Fountain of Youth.
I personally think Graham would be a great addition to the cast, and I'm really glad to see him taking off as an actor, as I've admired his performances for quite some time (if you haven't checked out his performance in This Is England,do so ASAP).
Moving on to a potentially more significant Pirates 4 casting addition, E Online is reporting that two relatively unknown actors, Max Irons and Sam Claflin, are both in the running to be the franchise's new young heartthrob, now that Orlando Bloom won't be returning.
Neither of the actors are all that well known yet, but both have onscreen experience: Irons (son of actor Jeremy Irons) appeared in the recent Dorian Gray and had a bit part in Being Julia alongside his Dad. Claflin only has a couple of recent credits to his name: The Lost Future and the British TV mini-series, The Pillars of the Earth (alongside Ian McShane, funnily enough).
Update: We now know which of the two actors will be playing the new young swashbuckler character to sort of replace Orlando Bloom - Sam Claflin. He will play the role of "Philip, a youthful missionary." No other character details were revealed.
I'm not that happy to hear that they seem to be bringing in the same types of stock characters to populate Pirates of the Caribbean 4, as I was hoping for a fresh direction after the... disappointments of the second and third movies.
Neither Bloom nor Keira Knightley are returning, but now they're looking to bring in a new young hunk actor to replace Bloom - and the description of Penelope Cruz's character being "feisty" isn't exactly dissimilar to Knightley's character.
What do you think of the latest casting news for Pirates of the Caribbean 4? How do you feel about them bringing in another young swashbuckler - Sam Claflin - to replace Bloom?
Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is set to start shooting this summer under the direction of Rob Marshall (Chicago). It sails into theaters on May 20th, 2011.
Sources: E Online, Production Weekly and Disney