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New “Pirates” images linked to Blackbeard discovery in N.C.

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Legitimate news item or well-timed movie publicity story? You make the call.

A few days ago, TIME Magazine reported that archaeologists exploring off the coast of North Carolina believe they have found the lost sword of the pirate Blackbeard. Or, at the very least, part of his sword.

“National Geographic published photos released by a team that has for over a decade been excavating the Queen Anne’s Revenge, which was Blackbeard’s flagship until it ran aground in an inlet off the coast of North Carolina in 1718,” TIME writes. “These include fragments of a gilded hilt and pommel, possibly of French design (Blackbeard’s ship was a retrofitted French merchant vessel). The shipwreck has been worked on since 1997.”

That’s a legitimate story. And totally believable. The rocky coast of North Carolina is believed to have shipwrecked hundreds of legendary pirates in their day, which is why the waters off the edge of the Tar Heel state often are filled with treasure seekers digging through the region’s rich nautical history.

And now for the movie link (this is a Hollywood site, after all). Blackbeard just happens to be the main villain in the upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” which opens everywhere on May 20. And this morning, Disney has released two new images from the fourth “Pirates” adventure. Blackbeard (played by Ian McShane) isn’t featured, but you do get better looks at Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush as Capt. Jack Sparrow and Barbossa.

The images are below:

Clink on these for larger images.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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