News briefs: McShane is Blackbeard; Fourth Realm optioned

Deadwood star Ian McShane is in talks to play the villainous Blackbeard the pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment being directed by Rob Marshall, according to The Hollywood Reporter; McShane will join Johnny Depp, reprising his role of Captain Jack Sparrow, and Penelope Cruz in a tale that revolves around the Fountain of Youth.

Fox has picked up the rights to the sci-fi book series known as the Fourth Realm Trilogy, by reclusive author John Twelve Hawks, and has set Watchmen co-writer Alex Tse to adapt it, according to The Hollywood Reporter; the first book, 2006's The Traveler, is set in a U.S. society run by a secret organization seeking to control the population via constant observation.

Avatar has sold more than $200 million's worth of IMAX tickets as of Sunday, a new record, Variety reported; the film's domestic IMAX take has reached $120.1 million.

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