Taika Waititi pirate

Thor: Ragnarok and The Hunt for the Wilderpeople director Taika Waititi will hit the high seas to direct and executive produce Our Flag Means Death, a pirate series for HBO Max. Honestly, they had me at “Taika Waititi” and “pirates,” but this show is also going to be loosely based on a fascinating real-life story, which is just icing on the cake. Get the details below.

HBO Max announced in a press release that a Taika Waititi pirate series is in the works. The filmmaker will direct the pilot and executive produce Our Flag Means Death, which is created by showrunner David Jenkins (People of Earth) and executive produced by Garrett Basch (The Night Of, What We Do in the Shadows) and Dan Halsted.

The show will be a period tale that’s “loosely based on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet, a pampered aristocrat who abandoned his life of privilege to become a pirate.”

I’d never heard of Bonnet before, but his story is pretty wild: born in Barbados, he was an educated and wealthy landowner who abandoned his own children in order to become a pirate, despite having no experience on the open seas. Instead of stealing or overthrowing a ship, as was the traditional manner through which pirate captains gained their ships, he used his wealth to have a new vessel constructed to his specifications, which he called the Revenge. At one point he teamed up with Blackbeard, with the two raiding several ships in the Caribbean and off the East Coast of the United States, but they ultimately had a falling out, leaving Bonnet chasing Blackbeard across the seas in an attempt to exact revenge. I won’t spoil what happened in real life since this story is likely not familiar to you either, but since this show is only “loosely” based on Bonnet’s life, I suspect plenty of liberties will be taken with this version of the story.

“A series concept like this jumps off the page and you can instantly envision every moment,” said Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max’s head of original content. “David and Taika’s unique take on Bonnet’s rollicking misadventures on the high seas are sure to thrill and delight audiences everywhere.”

Production on the first episode is said to get underway after Waititi finishes work on the upcoming Marvel Studios sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder.

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