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Villains Wiki

Mr. Ian Mercer is a recurring antagonist in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean film series. He serves as a supporting antagonist in the second film Dead Man's Chest and a major antagonist in the third film At World's End.

Mercer is an employee of the East India Trading Company who is the assistant and right-hand man of Lord Cutler Beckett, often doing the dirty work for him.

He was portrayed by David Schofield.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

In the late 1720s, Mercer arrived in Port Royal with Lord Beckett, carrying the arrest warrants needed by Beckett to arrest Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner, and James Norrington. These three had helped Jack Sparrow escape from custody. Beckett really only wanted to use these three to find Jack Sparrow's compass, so he could use it to lead him to the Dead Man's Chest, in which was the heart of Davy Jones. With this, Beckett intended to rule the Seven Seas, and command Jones to lead his armada and bring about the end of piracy. After the arrests, Mercer helped Beckett set up his operations in Port Royal, discussing various matters of importance. Mercer watched as Beckett made a deal with Will Turner. Will would find Jack Sparrow's compass, and in return, Sparrow would receive letters of Marque and become a privateer in the employ of England. Will and Elizabeth would in turn be pardoned, but if Will did not return with the compass, Elizabeth would be hanged.   When Beckett learned that Governor Weatherby Swann was sending his daughter, Elizabeth, to London in order to escape his plans, he sent Mercer to recapture his valuable pawn. Mercer murdered Captain Hawkins, the captain of the vessel that was supposed to transport Elizabeth to England. Soldiers then surrounded Governor Swann and his carriage. Mercer became frustrated when Elizabeth was not in the carriage, and even more so when Governor Swann pretended to not know who Mercer was looking for. Mercer had the Governor arrested and thrown in Fort Charles' prison. Elizabeth had broken into Beckett's office and stolen his letters of Marque, so Beckett sent Mercer to head Elizabeth off at her most likely destination: Tortuga.

In Tortuga, Mercer found Elizabeth in the Twelve Daggers, a local tavern. A bar fight was in progress, and it was soon ended by Elizabeth herself. The instigator of the fight, Beckett's other fugitive, James Norrington, was thrown into a pool of mud, and was escorted by Elizabeth to the Black Pearl. There he found Jack Sparrow. Instead of following them further, or hindering their departure he offered Norrington a deal on behalf of Lord Beckett and then returned to Port Royal with his report. After Mercer gave Beckett his report, Governor Swann was brought into Beckett's office. 

Mercer told the governor that Elizabeth had left with Sparrow and other fugitives from justice. Beckett told Swann that the Pearl would be pursued by his ships, and that all those onboard would be doomed. So in return for his daughter's safety, Swann gave Beckett his loyalty. Mercer then removed the governor's cuffs, and set out to find the Pearl.

During his search, Mercer found Norrington adrift at sea. Mercer returned to Port Royal and brought him before Beckett. Norrington had stolen Jack's letters of Marque and in return for his pardon, he gave Beckett the heart of Davy Jones, which he had acquired from Isla Cruces during a battle with Sparrow and Turner. With the heart now in his employer's hands, Mercer now had all new objectives to complete for Beckett.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Once Beckett had the heart of Davy Jones, Mercer was sent to Singapore to find the crew of the Black Pearl. Accompanied by a detachment of East India Trading Company troops, Mercer patrolled the streets and waterways of Singapore looking for the Pearls crew, as well as the secret hideout of the infamous Chinese pirate, Sao Feng. Mercer planted a spy, Steng, into Feng's organization. Steng told Mercer where Feng's bath house was, and Mercer staged an ambush. Hector Barbossa and Elizabeth Swann were meeting with Sao Feng, and it was during the middle of this meeting that Mercer broke through the doors with dozens of soldiers and opened fire on the pirates. During the battle, Mercer tried to shoot Elizabeth, but she was pushed out of the way by William Turner. The shot instead lodged itself in the forehead of Park, one of Feng's twin bodyguards and masseuses.

Feng and the crew of the Pearl escaped though a secret exit of the bath house, and the battle raged into the streets of Singapore. While in a small storehouse, Park's twin sister, Lian, attempted to exact her revenge on Mercer. She drove a steel chopstick deep into his shoulder. During the struggle, Mercer threw Lian onto the ground and shot her dead. As he was leaving the scene Mercer stumbled onto a deal being made between Turner and Feng, and learned that the crew of the Pearl was on its way to rescue Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker. Later, Mercer caught up with Feng and made his own deal. Feng could have the Pearl once it returned from the Locker, all he needed to do was capture Sparrow and deliver him to Beckett. Feng agreed, and Mercer went to meet with Steng. Steng informed Mercer of the meeting of the Brethren Court, comprised of several Pirate Lords, each of whom needed one of nine pieces of eight to attend.Mercer then returned to Beckett's ship, the HMS Endeavour, to deliver his report. After Mercer gave his report to Beckett, the Endeavour went to survey the damage done by Davy Jones' ship, the Flying Dutchman. Beckett had been using Jones to destroy pirate vessels in the Caribbean, but was frustrated that Jones never left anyone alive to interrogate. Mercer remarked that Jones was a loose cannon and that he might need further persuasion to follow Beckett's orders closer to the letter. He also told Beckett that Governor Swann kept asking questions about the Dead Man's Chest. Beckett suggested to Mercer that Swann's usefulness may have run its course. Soon after this, Governor Swann was murdered, presumably by Mercer, being Beckett's personal assassin. Following Mercer's advice, Beckett stationed Admiral Norrington aboard the Dutchman, along with many East India Trading Company troops. In time Mercer would be among them.

At the appropriate time, the men who had joined Barbossa for the rescue of Jack Sparrow in Singapore turned on Barbossa and his remaining crew, showing that their true allegiances lay with Sao Feng. Feng captured the Pearl, but defaulting on his deal with William Turner, pronounced the ship to be his, and the Endeavour soon appeared on the horizon to collect their prizes. Feng handed Jack over to Beckett aboard the Endeavour. While Sparrow was being interrogated by Beckett, Mercer boarded the Black Pearl with a contingent of East India Trading Company troops to seize control of the ship. Sao Feng became angry that Mercer had lied to him, and conspired with Barbossa to attack the Endeavour, allowing the Pearl to escape. While Feng's ship, the Empress, attacked the Endeavour, Mercer and his men battled the crew of the Black Pearl. While he became embroiled in a duel with Barbossa, his men were all killed. Barbossa kicked Mercer between the legs, and just as Barbossa was about to deliver the final blow, Mercer dived off the Pearl and into the water below, and swam back to the Endeavour.   ​​​​​​

Sometime between the Pearl's escape and the Flying Dutchman's attack on the Empress, Mercer joined Norrington onboard the Dutchman, and took the duty of guarding the chest with several soldiers. Norrington had placed the prisoners from the Empress in the Dutchman's brig, and tied the Empress to the Dutchman, so that it could be towed back to Beckett.

However, Norrington soon had a change in heart, and released the prisoners. As they escaped back onto the Empress, Norrington was killed by a delusional Bootstrap Bill Turner. Jones, believing that the Admiral was the only thing tying him to Beckett, ordered his men to murder all the Company troops onboard, but when Jones reached his organ room, mini-cannons were aimed at the chest, and Mercer held thekey to the chest, taunting Jones by saying that the Dutchman was under his control.

The Dutchman eventually caught up with Beckett, and joined the rest of the armada to attack Shipwreck Island, the meeting place of the Brethren Court. Prior to the battle around Calypso's maelstrom, Mercer's soldiers were refreshed with new ones, since most of them had been killed by the crew of the Dutchman. Mercer remained onboard, near the helm with Jones. As a maelstrom began to form in between Beckett's forces and the pirates, Jones decided to steer the Dutchman into it and attack the Pearl. Mercer was extremely hesitant to head into the vortex, but was unable to stop Jones. Mercer eventually accepted the circumstances and commanded the Dutchman during the early part of the battle, giving orders to the crew and his men. A stray cannon ball fired from the Black Pearl soon streamed toward the helm of the Dutchman. Jones grabbed Mercer and shielded him from the blast. Mercer's grateful mood soon passed when he and Jones realized that all the Company soldiers around the helm had been either incapacitated or killed by the blast. Jones took advantage of the moment and suffocated Mercer with his tentacles. Jones then took the key from Mercer's lifeless body and went to claim the chest, but fate would not allow to Jones to ever have it again. Mercer's body was consumed along with the Dutchman by Calypso's maelstrom.


Mercer was extremely solemn, often having a grim expression on his face. He followed Beckett's orders promptly, no matter what they were. He took to the murder of Captain Hawkins with a chillingly calm and emotionless manner, referring to the act with dark humor. Above all other traits, Mercer's loyalty to his master was the strongest, completing every objective carefully and efficiently. He took every opportunity he could to further Beckett's agenda.


            PiratesCaribbeanLogo.png Villains

Black Pearl
Crew of the Black Pearl (Hector Barbossa, Bo'sun, Scratch, Pintel & Ragetti)

Flying Dutchman
Crew of the Flying Dutchman (Davy Jones, Maccus & Kraken)

Kingdom of Great Britain
East India Trading Company (King George ll, Lord Cutler Beckett & Mr. Mercer) | Scarfield

Queen Anne's Revenge
Edward Teach/Blackbeard | Angelica Teach

Kingdom of Spain
King Ferdinand VI | The Spaniard | Crew of the Silent Mary (Armando Salazar & Lesaro)

Jolly Roger | Pirates of Tortuga | Auctioneer