Taika Waititi Is Blackbeard in HBO Max's Pirate Comedy Our Flag Means Death

Taika Waititi @ the 25th Critics Choice Awards
Taika Waititi @ the 25th Critics Choice Awards
Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer (Getty Images)

Taika Waititi is jumping in front of the camera for a new role in the HBO Max Pirate comedy, Our Flag Means Death. Waititi will act as executive and will direct the pilot. Series creator and showrunner David Jenkins, Garrett Basch and Dan Halsted are also executive producers on the show.


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 (played by actor Rhys Darby), 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.

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Should be interesting. Bonnet is a great choice for a series like this.  He got into piracy bc he was bored and wanted to get away from his nagging wife.  Lots of potential there.