How many new people are they trying to pump into Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides? We get that they have big shoes to fill with the absence of Will and Elizabeth but this is starting to get a little ridiculous. According to The Courier, Australian model Gemma Ward has just been cast in the film as a female flipper aka a mermaid.

You should be reminded that back in April, French actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey was also cast as a mermaid, which makes us wonder why they need two. Ward’s role is a small speaking part, which she’s scheduled to begin filming in August. The model-turned-actress hails from Perth, Australia the land where both Heath Ledger and Avatar star Sam Worthington were raised.

She’s been a professional runway model for years and now she’s taking a serious leap into the field of acting. The cast of On Stranger Tides already includes Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush, Stephen Graham, Sam Claflin, Greg Ellis, and The Losers Óscar Jaenada.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will be directed by Rob Marshall and is expected to hit theaters on May 20, 2011.

What do you think of Ward’s addition to the cast? Are you familiar with her modeling work?