Batten down the hatches, raise the mizzenmast, and inform all your struggling actor friends who are also parrots: A new pirate has come aboard Taika Waititi’s forthcoming pirate comedy. Luckily, it’s also Taika Waititi, who Deadline says will now not only act as executive producer and pilot director of HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death, but will also co-star as the famed pirate Blackbeard. Born Edward Teach, Blackbeard became one of the archetypes on which our enduring idea of pirates is based by terrorizing ships around the West Indies and Britain’s American colonies in the early 1700s.
“Our Blackbeard is a legend, a lover, a fighter, a tactical genius, a poetic soul, and quite possibly insane,” said series creator David Jenkins in a statement. “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.”
Witten by Jenkins, Garrett Basch, and Dan Halsted, Our Flag Means Death is “loosely based on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet, a pampered aristocrat who abandoned his life of privilege to become a pirate.” Known as the Gentleman Pirate for his landowning family, Bonnet will be played by Flight of the Conchords’ own Murray, Rhys Darby, whom Waititi directed in 2014’s What We Do in the Shadows. Which is great, because if someone is going to force you to walk the plank, it’s always better if it’s a good friend.