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Is Ian McShane the Most Perfect Person to Play Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean 4?

By Miscellaneous | | February 22, 2010 |

By Miscellaneous | | February 22, 2010 |

I’ve never seen Deadwood, so I’m not sure just how bad-ass Ian McShane can get, but I’m aware of the show’s reputation enough to get the jokes about him upping the swear-word count of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise if he is indeed cast as the fourth installment’s villain. Of course, it is a family-friendly franchise with Disney’s name on it, so unfortunately we’re not actually going to be hearing any more “fuck”s or “cocksucker”s than usual.

Aside from his foul-mouthed work on HBO, it should be noted that McShane is becoming quite a staple for family fare, particularly animation, playing good and bad guys. He voiced the classic Disney-quality villain in Kung-Fu Panda, the beet-loving blue Russian in Coraline, the armored polar bear in The Golden Compass and he’s even done the pirate thing as Captain Hook in Shrek the Third.

Still, as much as he may seem perfect for the role, being both a mean-looking and mean-sounding actor, I actually think Disney should hire this guy from Sacramento, who not only looks more piratey but is also known for trying to kill people (well, his mom) with a prop sword. I guess the fact that he’s incarcerated for the attempted murder (as well as mayhem and torture) could make him unavailable for the scheduled shoot this summer.

Here’s what other blogs think of the casting idea:

  • Scott Weinberg at Cinematical:
    I’m just one loud movie geek, but I call this some pretty rock-solid casting. […] if you’re looking for a great, colorful, larger-than-life villain, this is one of the actors to talk to. This bodes well for Pirates 4, if you ask me.
  • Matt Goldberg at Collider:
    Ian McShane may be playing the villain: Blackbeard aka Edward Teach. As you can see above, there’s a slight facial resemblance.

    Shane is a tremendous actor and his performance of Al Swearengen (another character who was based on a real person) on Deadwood is one of the best in TV history (as is the show). And when you hit the jump to read some fun facts about Blackbeard, you’ll see that not only is Shane perfect casting, but that writers Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot have some great historical material to work with.

  • Neil Miller at FilmSchoolRejects:
    In the opinion of this writer, Ian McShane is the perfect choice to play someone like Blackbeard. He’s the perfect choice to play anyone who needs to be a raspy, angry, brutal sonofagun. As we’ve seen from him in Deadwood, the most likely place you’d recognize him, he can play mean. That’s understating things a bit, I know, but work with me here. McShane is a very good addition to Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, rounding out a cast that is cause for optimism for a fourth Pirates movie.
  • Ethan Anderton at First Showing:
    One of the most notorious and feared pirates, Blackbeard sailed the high seas in his trademark ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. This is perfect casting and has me slightly more interested in the next Pirates adventure.
  • Katey Rich at Cinema Blend:
    McShane is one of those actors who’s beloved no matter what he does— and he was in Death Race, so that’s saying a lot— and it’s hard to imagine his presence not adding something good to the whole production. Can Geoffrey Rush handle the presence of yet another talented foreigner playing a villain? Or will the two of them added together just create twice as much greatness? As doubtful as I am about this movie as a whole, that’s one matchup I can’t wait to see.
  • Josh Wigler at MTV Movies Blog:
    It does make me wonder about Geoffrey Rush’s future participation as Barbossa, though. In September, Rush said that he plans to reprise the role for a spring shoot, but there’s currently no official word on his casting. As both Barbossa and Blackbeard have similarities on the visual and villainous sides of things, I’m worried that there might not be room for both of them in the new film.

    Then again, the idea of the core “Pirates” group consisting of Depp, Cruz, McShane and Rush is way too cool to ignore. Honestly, it might even trump the trio established by Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.

  • Drew McWeeny at HitFix:
    Now this is how you get me interested. […] this is starting to sound like it could be more fun than the first three films, with a much richer cast. I’ll take McShane and Cruz over Knightley and Bloom any day of the week.
  • Mark at I Watch Stuff:
    If signed, McShane would play Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, the second most dastardly pirate ever. And who might be playing the most dastardly pirate? You. If you illegally download Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides rather than purchase it on DisneyDVD and Blu-ray.

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