Taika Waititi to play Blackbeard on Our Flag Means Death

Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi
Photo: Gareth Cattermole (Getty Images)

For a guy with a pretty recognizable voice, Taika Waititi has surprisingly managed to avoid ever being typecast into any kind of “Taika Waititi-type” characters… unless you count “the most surprising choice in a thing he’s directing himself” as a type. He played lovable rock guy Korg in Thor: Ragnarok, and then he played Hitler. He played lovable murder-nanny IG-11 on The Mandalorian, and now he’s playing murderous pirate Blackbeard for HBO Max’s pirate comedy Our Flag Means Death.

That last bit is new, with Waititi’s role being announced a few days ago in a press release. He’s executive producing the series and directing the pilot, which we learned back in September, and now he’ll also be appearing as a version of Blackbeard who the press release calls “a legend, a lover, a fighter, a tactical genius, a poetic soul, and quite possibly insane.” That, oddly, does kind of sound like a “Taika Waititi-type,” even if it weren’t in a thing he’s directing.

As for Our Flag Means Death, the series is loosely inspired by aristocrat Stede Bonnet, who gave up his fancy life so he could become a pirate. He’ll be played by Rhys Darby, meaning this thing will have loads of wacky New Zealand energy as it is. There’s no word on when Our Flag Means Death will come to HBO Max, but making a pirate show during COVID seems like it’ll probably be tough (unless they’re just putting people on a real boat in the real ocean, in which case it might be easier than making a non-pirate show). It’s too late now, but some production company in 2020 should’ve bought one of those unused, virus-riddled cruise liners, given it a deep clean, and then used it as a mobile TV-making base.

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