Oscar winning auteur and sometimes thespian Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) is taking another big acting swing, signing on to play Blackbeard in HBO Max’s upcoming pirate comedy Our Flag Means Death. Waititi also serves as an EP and is set to direct the pilot of the 10-episode series.
Our Flag Means Death is loosely based on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet (Flight of the Conchords‘ Rhys Darby), a pampered aristocrat who abandoned his life of privilege to become a pirate.
People of Earth‘s David Jenkins, who serves as EP/writer/showrunner, said in a statement, “Our Blackbeard is a legend, a lover, a fighter, a tactical genius, a poetic soul, and quite possibly insane. 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.”
In announcing the project’s pickup last fall, HBO Max original content chief Sarah Aubrey said, “A series concept like this jumps off the page and you can instantly envision every moment. David and Taika’s unique take on Bonnet’s rollicking misadventures on the high seas, are sure to thrill and delight audiences everywhere.”
Waititi is not one to shy away from an acting challenge. In addition to writing and directing 2019’s Jojo Rabbit, he starred as an imaginary version of Adolf Hitler.