Taika Waititi To Play Blackbeard In HBO Max Comedy Our Flag Means Death

There is arguably nobody more qualified for the role.

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The prolific Taika Waititi will now star in, in addition to producing, the upcoming HBO Max comedy series Our Flag Means Death, according to Deadline. The period series is loosely based on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet, a wealthy landowner who gave up fancy living in 1717 to hit the high seas as a pirate--a great premise for a comedy made all the better with the news that Waititi will be starring as the dreaded pirate Blackbeard.

Waititi joins the previously announced series lead Rhys Darby, who will play Bonnet. Darby and Waititi have worked and also acted together on the HBO series Flight of the Conchords and the film What We Do in the Shadows. Until this announcement, Waititi was only expected to produce the series and direct Our Flag Means Death's pilot, when the series was first announced back in 2020.

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

Waititi is also making two animated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series based on the classic Roald Dahl book, plus Reservation Dogs, an upcoming FX series about Native American teens fighting and also committing crime in rural Oklahoma. Darby and Waititi will also be collaborating in another Waititi project, the upcoming sports comedy Next Goal Wins, which Waititi is co-writing and directing. Waititi will be directing an upcoming Star Wars film, following his work on The Mandalorian.

Waititi is slated to begin work on Our Flag Means Death once he has finished directing the Thor: Ragnarok sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder. The Marvel movie is currently scheduled to hit theaters in February 2022 and will star Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Christian Bale.

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