Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, much stranger tides

Hollywood knows Johnny Depp to be a quirky fellow on and off the big screen, as his roles consist of throat-slashing barbers, maniacal milliners, and of course, an eccentric pirate.  So will it be any surprise to fans that Depp's zeal for wanting to play Captain Jack Sparrow has taken the Pirates of the Caribbean series in a bizarre direction? Four years ago, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End left fans with peace of mind. We last saw Captain Jack Sparrow aboard a small tug boat with a map to the fountain of youth, Will Turner became the new Flying Dutchman and married his long-time sweetheart Elizabeth, leaving minds to wonder if there would be another sequel.

For the most part, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is every bit as exciting as the first three installments. There are still crafty sword fighting scenes, explosive artillery battles on the high seas, and a pirates film wouldn't be complete without a love interest. From the excitement of the previews, On Stranger Tides comes off as a great film to catch in theaters, however, a noticeable portion of the original cast members are missing.

Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, who played the roles of Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner, chose not to reprise their roles in future Pirates of the Caribbean films. Bloom and Knightley felt the Will/Elizabeth storyline had gone as far as it could.

Rather than relish in the worldwide success of "Pirates," Depp and new director Rob Marshall, urged to produce more films and move the storyline in a different direction.  According to Locus Online the movie is loosely based on Tim Powers' 1987 historical fantasy novel, On Stranger Tides, and primarily utilizes the Fountain of Youth and Blackbeard aspects of the story.

Marshall's "On Stranger Tides," introduces Ian McShane as the dreaded Blackbeard, Penelope Cruz as Sparrow's former flame Angelica, and welcomes back Geoffery Rush as Captain Barbossa. New members of the main cast also include two relatively unknown Hollywood actors, Sam Claflin, and Astrid Berges-Frisbey who plays one of the vampire mermaids in the film. (Yes, vampire mermaids.)

As if it weren't painfully clear that much has changed in the Pirates of the Caribbean films since its Oscar-nominated Curse of the Black Pearl original, the franchise is far from cheering its last huzzah. Disney executives reported plans to shoot the fifth and sixth chapters together, and will be released in two parts, a tactic known to bring in the millions.