Taika Waititi is an Academy Award winner who has starred in two films that have grossed over $2 billion at the box office and has directed one that has garnered nearly $1 billion at the box office. He’s also a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the Star Wars, erm, universe. Waititi can make whatever TV show or movie he wants with that type of popularity, and he’s utilizing his skills for good, much like Daniel Radcliffe.
In Our Flag Means Death, an HBO Max comedy starring Rhys Darby as a fellow buccaneer, Waititi plays “history’s most feared and renowned pirate” Blackbeard. We can watch the trailer above for “Our Flag Means Death,” which is largely inspired on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), a pampered aristocrat who gives up his life of privilege to become a pirate.
Waititi and Darby, who worked together on Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows, are “in some ways like an old married couple,” showrunner David Jenkins told EW. “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.”
A Golden Globe nomination for Tim Curry’s performance as Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island (a true tragedy) doesn’t make up for an Oscar winner playing Blackbeard, but it’s a start.
In March, HBO Max will show Our Flag Means Death, which also stars Leslie Jones and Kristian Nairn (a.k.a. Hodor from Game of Thrones).