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HBO Max pirate comedy series Our Flag Means Death casts Taika Waititi as Blackbeard

Taika Waititi in Free Guy
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi has been cast as Blackbeard in the HBO Max pirate comedy series Our Flag Means Death, reports Variety (opens in new tab).

We previously heard that Waititi and Flight of the Conchords actor Rhys Darby were joining up for Our Flag Means Death, but this is the first we've heard of Waititi starring as Blackbeard opposite Darby's lead role. Waititi is also an executive producer on the HBO Max series and will direct the pilot episode.

"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."

News of the series first broke in January, but Variety reports that Our Flag Means Death was ordered straight to series in September of 2020. For the uninitiated, that means it's been greenlit for an entire season rather than a pilot episode alone. 

Plot details are still a tad thin, but the general premise is loosely based on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet (Darby), a moderately wealthy aristocrat who abandons his life of privilege to become a pirate after suffering a midlife crisis. Blackbeard, of course, is a notorious English pirate previously portrayed by Ian McShane in 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

For everything else to look forward to, check out our lists of the most exciting upcoming movies and new TV shows of 2021 and beyond.

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.