Scoop: John Malkovich to Star as Blackbeard in NBC's Crossbones Summer Series

John Malkovich Cast as BlackbeardCall it “Being Blackbeard.”

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.

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23 Comments
  1. TM says:

    Woooow. Amazing.

  2. Nick says:

    Is this set to air this summer?

    • lauren says:

      I think so, since its says “summer series” in the headline and says “summer series” in the first paragraph LOL

      • Nick says:

        Gee that was real helpful, thanks Lauren. Again Ill ask, is this series set to air THIS summer? And why does a simple question always have to have a random snarky ass remark from someone?

  3. D says:

    Great piece of casting there! He’s perfect for the role.

  4. Sepiya says:

    Yay it wasn’t on my watch list since i can’t stand Hugh Laurie but with JM taking the lead i’m not missing it for anything in the world :)

  5. Ana says:

    He’s an amazing actor so now I’m compelled to give this a try… Good for him. Hugh Laurie would have been good too but I’m still not over how he killed House so I’m not ready to watch him on anything yet…

  6. nina says:

    i love hugh laurie morrrrrrrrrrre! pls take him back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Ellen says:

    I need Hugh laurie #Hugh Laurie previously had the offer to star in the drama but could not commit. He remains one of pilot season’s most sought-after actors.

  8. Sofia says:

    Bummer ….one less show to watch!!!! I wanted Hugh laurie <333

  9. KRML says:

    Calm your t**ts Hugh fangirls. Laurie is ok but Malkovich is a much better actor and a bigger name so the casting makes sense.

  10. Jane says:

    GREAT NEWS!
    John Malkovich has this part written all over his face. What a perfect fit! I, for once, can’t wait to watch this show. The Cable like format is especially appealing for a network show.
    I Malkovich much more suiting than Hugh Laurie who has made questionable career choices since the end of his show.

    • KRML says:

      Exactly. Wasn´t Laurie´s last movie a huge box office failure? People complaining here because Malkovich got the role don´t have idea what they are talking about. These men don´t play in the same league.

  11. Shaun says:

    Malkovich,really?I always pictured Teach as a heavier guy.

  12. Anna says:

    I like Malkovich, he’s an excellent actor but Laurie would have been a much better pirate: imposing,iconic, legendary. And much more athletic. And yes, they don’t play in the same league because Laurie is a superior actor.

  13. Olivio says:

    Both JM and HL are wonderful actors and either would be a major coup for any tv series. Whilst I feel Hugh would be a better fit in the role, he has decided to pass (maybe after seeing NBC’s recent ratings performance) and so I look forward to hearing John efforts at a Bristol accent. Reports confirm HL is one of the most sought after actors this pilot season, so hopefully another project can entice him back onto my TV screen sometime in the future.

  14. Malachi says:

    Malkovich? I really liked him in that jewel thief movie…

  15. Kate says:

    Do we know why Hugh is no longer considered for the part? I mean something confirmed and not just speculation like he couldn’t commit? I wonder if his asking price was too high if it was anywhere near what his past salary was on House? JM will do a nice job with the role but I also though HL would be a good choice too.

  16. nashty62 says:

    wonder who is in the rest of the cast…would love to see Christian Kane in this..

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