Our Flag Means Death Teaser: Taika Waititi's Pirate Comedy Heads To HBO Max

Pop culture has always been preoccupied with pirates and adventures taking place on the high seas. "Treasure Island." "Robinson Crusoe." "Peter Pan." Artists have never been shy about trying to capture the freedom, the swashbuckling, even the dignity (in a manner of speaking) that pirates offer in movies, shows, and literature. 

This latest effort to do so isn't exactly as distinguished or high-brow as any of those other examples. No, "Our Flag Means Death" has oddball filmmaker Taika Waititi's fingerprints all over it, and we couldn't be more thrilled about that. This new HBO Max series feels like "Pirates of the Caribbean" by way of "What We Do in the Shadows," though such a pithy summation hardly does it any justice at all. The streaming service just released a first look at the series and the overall irreverent, self-aware tone on display thanks to some funny writing and a deep bench of hilarious character actors. You can check out the new teaser for yourself below!

Our Flag Means Death Teaser

A fancy man with a fancy ship who travels with a brigade of imbeciles. Yup, that about covers it.

"Our Flag Means Death" follows the (mis)adventures of Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), an actual 18th Century historical figure who famously woke up one day, chose to set aside his aristocratic duties and family responsibilities, and simply walked away from his life in order to become a pirate — and a gentleman pirate, at that. Of course, attempting to take a high-minded approach to the act of piracy is more than a little delusional, which is exactly the angle that this latest series appears to be playing up. 

Darby, channeling an almost distracting Martin Freeman impression, is clearly having the time of his life fully leaning into the naïveté and foppish pretensions of Bonnet. The sense of humor certainly feels like Taika Waititi's usual M.O., and that's before he appears as the fearsome pirate Blackbeard by the end of the teaser (though without a real good look at him), seemingly putting his own exaggerated spin on Captain Jack Sparrow.

"Our Flag Means Death" comes from creator, showrunner, and writer David Jenkins ("People of Earth") and Waititi, who directed the first episode and shared some time on the other side of the camera, as well. As Jenkins described the series to Entertainment Weekly, "This guy had one of the world's great, colorful midlife crises. That's a great way into a show in any genre, but to mix that with pirates, I was like, 'Oh, this is fantastic.'" Joining him on board the series is Darby as Bonnet, Waititi as Blackbeard, Leslie Jones, Fred Armisen, Kristian Nairn, and Nathan Foad.

The series sets sail on HBO Max this March.