Taika Waititi to Play Blackbeard in HBO Max Pirate Comedy Series ‘Our Flag Means Death’

Taika Waititi is hitting the high seas as the dreaded pirate Blackbeard in the upcoming HBO Max comedy series “Our Flag Means Death,” Variety has learned.

Waititi joins previously announced series lead Rhys Darby. The pair previously worked together on the HBO series “Flight of the Conchords” and the film “What We Do in the Shadows.” Darby starred in both projects, with Waititi serving as a writer and director on the HBO series and star, co-writer, co-director, and producer on the film.

It was previously announced that Waititi would executive produce and direct the pilot for “Our Flag Means Death” when the show was ordered to series in September 2020. The show is loosely based on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet (Darby), a pampered aristocrat who abandoned his life of privilege to become a pirate.

“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 won the Academy Award for best original screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit,” which he also directed and starred in as Adolf Hitler. The film was also nominated for best picture that year. He is also known for directing the MCU film “Thor: Ragnarok” and is currently working on the sequel “Thor: Love and Thunder.” He previously directed the Season 1 finale of “The Mandalorian,” on which he earned an Emmy nomination for also voicing the droid IG-11. He was also up for an Emmy in 2020 when the FX series adaptation of “What We Do in the Shadows” earned a nod for best comedy series.

He is repped by CAA and Manage-ment.

“Our Flag Means Death” hails from writer, showrunner, and executive producer David Jenkins. Garrett Basch and Dan Halsted also serves as executive producers along with Waititi.

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