See Taika Waititi As Blackbeard For Our Flag Means Death

By Michileen Martin | 6 seconds ago

Taika Waititi What We Do in the Shadows

From mockumentaries to Marvel blockbusters, Taika Waititi has enjoyed some wild and interesting acting roles, many of which he’s had the delicious luck to give himself. He’s played a gladiator made of rock, an imaginary friend version of Adolf Hitler, and the most pleasant and polite vampire you’ll ever meet. Now, for next year’s Our Flag Means Death, Waititi is marking his territory in the decades-old Ninja/Pirate debate. He’ll be playing Captain Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard the pirate, and we have the first images from the upcoming comedy series.

HBO Max released a trailer on Wednesday of their 2022 programming. After the first batch of previews highlight upcoming new seasons of shows like Barry, Westworld, and The Righteous Gemstones — along with new HBO content like the prequel series House of the Dragon — we get to the new Max originals, including Taika Waititi’s Our Flag Means Death. You can watch the trailer below.

Unfortunately, we don’t get much of Our Flag Means Death, with the entire preview consisting of three shots. It opens with a pirate on the deck of a ship angrily sharpening his blades, a pair of wealthy-looking men — one of whom practically sings “Hi all!” as he enters the room — and finally get to a shot of Taika Waiti as the legendary Blackbeard. In case the whole thing flew by too fast, you can see screenshots from the trailer below.

our flag means death
our flag means death
taika waititi our flag means death

The aristocratic looking guy in the second shot belting out “Hi all!” is — in most likelihood, it isn’t clear from the shot — Rhy Darby, the series lead. Darby will be playing the real life Stede Bonnet. Just as Taika Waititi’s character — with the real name of Edward Teach — was known as Blackbeard, Bonnet had his own nickname. A wealthy land-owner who reportedly turned to piracy out of boredom, Bonnet was known by the comparatively less menacing moniker, the Gentleman Pirate.

Anyone familiar with Taika Waititi’s work would likely recognize Rhys Darby even if they don’t know him by name. In 2014’s What We Do in the Shadows, Darby played the alpha of the werewolf pack who — when they resort to swearing — famously reminds his lycanthrope brothers, “We’re werewolves, not swearwolves.” He also plays the band’s hilarious manager Murray in the comedy Flight of the Conchords.

Darby won’t be the only beloved comedian joining Taika Waititi in Our Flag Means Death. Fred Armisen of Portlandia fame will appear in a recurring role, as will Armisen’s fellow Saturday Night Live alum Leslie Jones. In both cases, the names of their characters have not yet been made public.

Taika Waititi’s involvement in the comedy series was first announced back in April. Along with playing Blackbeard, Waititi will direct the pilot episode of the series and will act as one of its executive producers. It isn’t clear yet whether or not there are future seasons envisioned for Our Flag Means Death. For now, the show will consist of six episodes which will be released weekly. There is no word yet on a more precise release date beyond sometime next year. According to series creator David Jenkins, Waititi began filming the pilot episode on June 14 — fittingly, on Flag Day. It was only a couple of weeks after the fan-favorite director wrapped filming on Thor: Love and Thunder.