Exciting things wait on the horizon for Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) as he will not only direct the pilot and executive produce the HBO Max period piece Our Flag Means Death, but now he will also star in it. Announced on Friday, Waititi will play the notorious and cutthroat pirate Blackbeard, who went on to inspire countless stories on the screen and history book pages, as reported by Indiewire.
Our Flag Means Death is loosely based upon the true story of Stede Bonnet, a privileged aristocrat who decided to trade in high society for the high seas. Becoming one of the most famed pirates of all time, he will be portrayed by Rhys Darby (Hunt for the Wilderpeople). Waititi will now play opposite of him as the antagonist Blackbeard, marking one of several collaborations between the two. Waititi directed and co-starred alongside Darby in his 2014 critically acclaimed film, What We Do in the Shadows. Additionally, Darby played the lead role in the HBO comedy series Flight of the Concord, which was also directed by Waititi.
Regarding Waititi’s casting as Blackbeard, showrunner David Jenkins (People of Earth) released a statement picked up by Indiewire: “Our Blackbeard is a legend, a lover, a fighter, a tactical genius, a poetic soul, and quite possibly insane. 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.” Jenkins will executive produce alongside Waititi ini addition to Garret Basch (The Night Of) and Dan Halsted (The Virgin Suicides).
Waitii is a well renowned director, writer, and actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2020 for penning the script for the film Jojo Rabbit. He also received a Best Director Oscar nomination and starred in it. Other notable works include directing the 2017 Marvel movie Thor: Ragnorok and the 2010 Indie darling Boy. In addition to film, Waititi directed the season one finale of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian and executive produces the FX television adaptation of his film What We Do in the Shadows.