Naturally, Cruz's role is being kept secret along with the rest of the plot. All that is known is that she'll be "Sparrow's foil and equal in many ways." Will equality include an ability to chug rum? If there's one thing Pirates of the Caribbean hasn't allowed, it's for a woman to have the raunchier fun that pirates are supposed to enjoy. I don't think Elizabeth Swann got to touch the rum stash outside of the first film.
It should be a lot of fun to see Cruz relax and cut loose in a franchise piece like Pirates. And while I may joke about Pirates unable to sail without a female character, I think it's awesome that the writers have made a point of equal opportunity piracy. It's a nice antidote to the Disney Princess obsession, and Jack Sparrow is always more fun when he's being thrown by a clever woman anyway. Filming is set to begin this summer in Hawaii, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is set for a May 20, 2011 release.