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SYFY WIRE Taika Waititi

Arrr! Taika Waititi playing Blackbeard in HBO Max pirate comedy 'Our Flag Means Death'

By Justin Carter
Taika Waititi via Getty Images

Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do in the Shadows), aka that funny man from New Zealand with the pleasant voice you've heard in numerous things, is about to set sail for HBO Max. Today, Variety revealed that the Academy Award-winning actor/writer/director is about to add another title to his extensive resume: pirate. 

Specifically, Waititi will be playing that nasty pirate Blackbeard in the streaming service's upcoming pirate comedy, Our Flag Means Death. In addition to being a scoundrel, Waititi will triple dip as an executive producer for the series and a director for the pilot.

His take on the infamous pirate will be, according to creator David Jenkins, "a legend, a lover, a fighter, a tactical genius, a poetic soul, and quite possibly insane." In Jenkins' eyes, Waititi is the only guy who could play that role, and he's "thrilled beyond measure" to snag the multifaceted Maori talent for his show. 

The seafaring series will star Rhys Darby (What We Do in the Shadows, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) -- aka, that other funny man from New Zealand with the pleasant voice who you've heard in numerous things -- as Stede Bonnet, an aristocrat who decides to become a pirate.

Darby and Waititi have worked together before, and for HBO no less; Darby was in HBO's Flight of the Concords as the titular band's bumbling manager Murray Hewitt, and Waititi served as that show's writer and director for several episodes. The pair also came together again for Waititi's vampire comedy, What We Do in the Shadows.

Our Flag Means Death was ordered to series in September 2020. No word yet on when we can expect the series to debut on HBO Max.

Waititi is currently directing the fourth Thor flick, Love and Thunderwhich is due for a May 2022 release. He also has a Star Wars film he's supposedly still working on, plus a film that's currently awaiting release: the sports comedy Next Goal Wins. Based on a 2014 documentary about the American Samoa national football team and their journey to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, that film also happens to star Darby. It's almost like these two are made for each other.