Yo ho, yo ho: it's a 'Pirate''s life for Penelope Cruz.

That's the latest word from The Hollywood Reporter, anyway, which is reporting that the acclaimed Spanish actress is currently in negotiations with Disney to co-star in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.'

That top secret project, of course, is the fourth entry in the wildly popular -- and equally profitable -- 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, which has earned over $2.7 billion worldwide since the first installment set sail back in 2003. But while Johnny Depp is known to be on board for the latest go round, other 'Pirates' stars, including swashbuckling love interest and rival Keira Knightley, have declined to the chance to return, leaving the door open for others to strap on the eye patch. Yo ho, yo ho: it's a 'Pirate''s life for Penelope Cruz.

That's the latest word from the Hollywood Reporter, anyway, which is reporting that the acclaimed Spanish actress is currently in negotiations with Disney to co-star in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.'

That top secret project, of course, is the fourth entry in the wildly popular -- and equally profitable -- 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, which has earned over $2.7 billion worldwide since the first installment set sail back in 2003. But while Johnny Depp is known to be on board for the latest go round, other 'Pirates' stars, including swashbuckling love interest and rival Keira Knightley, have declined to the chance to return, leaving the door open for others to strap on the eye patch.

Enter Cruz, who, despite worldwide acclaim for her work in dramas such as 'Volver' and 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' has yet to become a bankable star in America; her highest grossing film domestically was the animated rodent film 'G-Force,' with 'Vanilla Sky' being the only other Cruz film to crack the $100 million mark.

'On Stranger Tides,' then, gives Cruz a chance to establish herself stateside as a blockbuster actress while also giving Disney the benefit of her overseas renown, a significant advantage considering over $1.5 billion of the franchise's take has come from foreign receipts.

The movie would also re-team Cruz with Rob Marshall, who directed Cruz to an Oscar nomination in last year's musical dud 'Nine.' Marshall, who will be directing 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' under the auspices of returning producer Jerry Bruckheimer, plans to have cameras rolling on the film this summer in order to meet a May, 2011 release date for what is sure to be one of the tentpole films of next year.

Just how rich the film's booty is, though, may depend on Cruz.
CATEGORIES Movies