Taika Waititi is an Academy Award winner who directed one movie that made nearly $1 billion at the box office, and appeared in another movie that grossed over $2 billion. He’s also one of the select few who are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars, um, universe. With that kind of success, Waititi can make whatever TV show or movie that he wants, and like Daniel Radcliffe, he’s using his powers for good.
Waititi plays “history’s most feared and revered pirate” Blackbeard in Our Flag Means Death, an HBO Max comedy that also stars the extremely funny Rhys Darby as a fellow buccaneer. The official description reads: “Our Flag Means Death is loosely based on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), a pampered aristocrat who abandons his life of privilege to become a pirate.” You can watch the trailer above.
“They are like an old married couple in certain ways,” showrunner David Jenkins told EW about Waititi and Darby, who worked together on Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows. “If a scene isn’t quite working, Taika will be able to grumble about Rhys, and vice versa, in the way that only friends can. And then when it is popping, they know how to get the best out of each other. There’s a generosity and a real sweetness between them that you wouldn’t get if you weren’t using those two friends.”
An Oscar winner playing Blackbeard doesn’t make up for Tim Curry not even being nominated for a measly Golden Globe his performance as Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island (a true tragedy), but it’s a start.
Our Flag Means Death, which also stars Leslie Jones and Kristian Nairn (a.k.a. Hodor from Game of Thrones), premieres on HBO Max in March.