Two-time Academy Award nominee John Malkovich has landed the lead role of Blackbeard in NBC’s summer series Crossbones, TVLine has learned.
The 10-episode action-adventure series, greenlit by NBC last May and written and co-executive produced by Luther‘s Neil Cross, takes place in 1715 and promises to deliver “the true legend” of “the most notorious pirate to ever sail the earth.”
Malkovich will play Edward Teach, AKA the pirate Blackbeard, who rules over the various thieves and ne’er-do-wells that populate the Bahamian island of New Providence — part shantytown, part marauder’s paradise and a mounting threat to international commerce. To gain control of this fearsome society, Tom Lowe, a highly skilled undercover assassin, is sent to the buccaneers’ haven to take down the brilliant and charismatic Blackbeard. But the closer Lowe gets, the more he finds that his quest is not so simple.
House‘s Hugh Laurie had been eyed for the role as recently as November.
For Malkovich, this marks his first significant TV commitment since the 2002 French miniseries Les Miserables and his first-ever series regular gig here in the States. (His TV-movie credits include HBO’s RKO 281, TNT’s Heart of Darkness and CBS’ Death of a Salesman, for which he won an Emmy.)
The actor’s myriad film credits include Dangerous Liaisons, Con Air (a guilty pleasure of mine), Being John Malkovich, The Killing Fields, Secretariat and, most recently, Warm Bodies.