Last week, it was announced that Taika Waititi, the Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker (best known for What We Do in the Shadows and Jojo Rabbit) has been cast as the infamous pirate Blackbeard in HBO Max’s upcoming comedy series, Our Flag Means Death.
Waititi had previously been announced as an executive producer of the show and been tapped to direct its pilot episode. He joins the already cast lead Rhys Darby, who Waititi has previously collaborated with on projects including Flight of the Concords, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and What We Do in the Shadows. Darby will star as Stede Bonnet, a real-life wealthy gentleman farmer in the early 18th Century, who ends up captaining the pirate ship ‘The Revenge’ following a mid-life crisis. The show will loosely recount his life, with added comedy and antics.
David Jenkins, Our Flag Means Death‘s showrunner, has said of Waititi’s Blackbeard character: “Our Blackbeard is a legend, a lover, a fighter, a tactical genius, a poetic soul, and quite possibly insane.” He added, about the actor’s involvement, “Only one man could play this role, and that is the great Taika Waititi. We’re thrilled beyond measure he’s decided to don the beard.” Other actors to recently take on the role of the notorious pirate include Ian McShane in 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Hugh Jackman in 2015’s Pan.
The show was commissioned by HBO Max back in September 2020, but it is currently unknown when it is set to be added to the streamer. It is believed that it will begin filming shortly after Taiki Waititi’s current Marvel project, Thor: Love and Thunder, wraps. This is the second Marvel Studios film that Waititi has directed following 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, which was praised for its vibrant aesthetic and quirky humour.
Words by Rehana Nurmahi
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