HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death Adds Taika Waititi as Blackbeard

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Taika Waititi

Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for AFI

Oscar-winner Taika Waititi, who is currently shooting Marvel Studios’ highly-anticipated Thor: Love and Thunder, has been set to portray the role of Blackbeard in HBO Max’s upcoming period comedy series titled Our Flag Means Death. Blackbeard was one of history’s most famous and feared pirates.

“Our Blackbeard is a legend, a lover, a fighter, a tactical genius, a poetic soul, and quite possibly insane,” series creator David Jenkins said 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.”

When the project secured an official series order from the streamer, Waititi was only attached to executive produce and direct the pilot. However, it looks like the New Zealand filmmaker decided to take on more responsibilities and has also joined the cast, which will be led by Rhys Darby.

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Our Flag Means Death is loosely based on the real-life adventures of Stede Bonnet (Darby), a well-to-do gentleman farmer from a wealthy family who, after undergoing a midlife crisis, elects to leave and become the captain of Revenge, a pirate ship in the early 18th century.

The period comedy series is created, written, and executive produced by David Jenkins (People of Earth), who is also serving as showrunner. Executive producers are Waititi, Garrett Basch and Dan Halsted.

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The series marks the fifth collaboration between Darby and Waititi, which began when the former starred in the cult-favorite HBO series Flight of the Conchords, on which Waititi was a writer/director, and followed by the mockumentary film What We Do in the Shadows. Their next project together in Searchlight Pictures’ sports comedy film Next Goal Wins, starring  Michael Fassbender (Dark Phoenix) and Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man).