Taika Waititi is jumping in front of the camera for a new role in the HBO Max Pirate comedy, Our Flag Means Death. Written by David Jenkins (People of Earth), Garrett Basch (What We Do in the Shadows), and Dan Halstead, Waititi will start alongside Rhys Darby and act as executive producer.
The director will play history’s most popular pirate, Blackbeard. Jenkins told Deadline about his vision for Blackbeard as “a lover, a fighter, a tactical genius, a poetic soul and quite possibly insane.” The show writers are clearly interested in showing Blackbeard’s softer side, which is why Jenkins thought Waititi would be perfect for the part, “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.”
The series is based on the misadventures of the “gentleman pirate” Stede Bonnet, who was a wealthy Barbadian aristocrat before turning to a life of piracy. To get started, Stede buys an expensive boat and names it Revenge, then travels travels up and down the American east coast with his paid crew, robbing, pillaging other ships.
Waititi has quickly become a Hollywood darling. After directing indie hits What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, he got scooped up by Marvel to direct Thor: Ragnorok and its sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder. In 2019, he won an Oscar for best-adapted screenplay for Jojo Rabbit. Whew! This is one booked and busy man.
There is no information available for when Our Flag Means Death will go into production, but I’m sure HBO Max will keep fans in the loop once more information is released.