Ok. We thought the news that Penelope Cruz was to jump aboard the good ship Black Pearl for the fourth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was a surprise, that’s nothing to the latest bit of casting to hit the interweb.

Ian McShane, the lovable rogue from BBC’s Lovejoy series, and known to US fans as the foul mouthed Al Swearengen from Deadwood, has been tipped to play Blackbeard in the new Pirates movie.

THR are reporting the story and it has rejuvenated my interest in the fourth film, that and the news from Collider today that Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom won’t be in the next film.

How the Fountain of Youth will fit in amongst Blackbeard, Penelope Cruz’s foil to Captain Jack Sparrow, I have no idea, but I’m actually looking forward to this one now.