Ahoy, Maties! Keith Richards Climbs Aboard Next 'Pirate' Ship

The second "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie won't open for another week, but expectations are already building for a third installment that will include a Rolling Stone on the rolling seas.

Johnny Depp has long said that he fashioned his flamboyant Capt. Jack Sparrow character after Keith Richards and wanted the 62-year-old rock legend to make a cameo in the film series.

When Richards' name was left off the ship's manifest for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," it may have seemed that the rocker nixed the idea. But director Gore Verbinski has now confirmed that the guitarist will suit up for the next "Pirates" film, two-thirds of which has already been shot.

"He was never supposed to be in the second movie," Verbinski said. "He was always intended to be in the third movie, and it's a small part, but it's a fantastic part, and I can't really discuss it, other than that."

A Sea Dog of a Dad?

While many rock stars have tried to parlay their celebrity into the movie business, Richards' acting credits are slight. He last appeared in the 1994 independent film "Rebirth of the Babymaker."

On the plus side, Richards did co-write "Jumpin' Jack Flash," and that sounds like an excellent pirate name.

At the Los Angeles premiere of the second "Pirates" movie on Monday, Depp seemed noncommittal on Richards' joining the cast.

"They are talking about it," he said. "Yeah, they are talking about it."

Verbinski, however, was more definitive, even if he wouldn't say what Richards would be doing.

"It was actually Johnny's idea to put Keith in the film," Verbinski said. "So, we've kind of written a little cameo, and Keith has been kind enough to schedule us into his tour and it's going to be a lot of fun."

There is speculation that Richards would play Capt. Jack Sparrow's sea dog of a dad.

After Coconut Tree Accident, Stones Prepare Tour

Richards is currently preparing for next month's launch of the European leg of the Rolling Stones' "Bigger Bang" tour, which was delayed after he fell from a coconut tree in Fiji and required brain surgery. Filming for the third "Pirates" movie is scheduled to resume later this summer.

Depp's acclaimed performance in the first film - an international blockbuster that took in $653 million worldwide - earned him a 2003 Oscar nomination, and he very deliberately told reporters he was acting like a Rolling Stone.

"The pirate of the 18th century seemed to me like the rock 'n' roll star of today, and to me the greatest rock 'n' roll star of all time - the coolest rock 'n' roll star of all time - is Keith Richards," Depp said at a 2003 press event for the film.

"I kind of incorporated the idea of Keith," he continued. "Not like an imitation of Keith or anything, but just that wisdom that he carries, that sort of confidence."