Taika Waititi Pirate Comedy ‘Our Flag Means Death’ Coming to HBO Max

The series will be based loosely on the misadventures of aristocrat turned pirate, Stede Bonnet.


HBO Max has given a series order to period pirate comedy Our Flag Means Death, from Oscar winner Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), writer David Jenkins (People of Earth) and Garrett Basch (The Night Of, What We Do in the Shadows).

Created by Jenkins, who also serves as showrunner, Our Flag Means Death is based loosely on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet, a pampered aristocrat who abandoned his life of privilege to become a pirate in the early 18th century.

Waititi will executive produce and direct the pilot. Jenkins executive produces with Basch and Dan Halsted. Plans are for the first episode to be shot after Waititi finishes production on Thor: Love and Thunder, which he wrote and directs.

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

Image via Thomas Kelly Pauley

Bonnet was a moderately wealthy land owner who later turned to a life of crime as a pirate. He bought a sailing vessel, named it Revenge and traveled with his paid crew along the Eastern Seaboard of what is now the United States, capturing other vessels and burning other Barbadian ships.

Jenkins created the sci-fi comedy series People of Earth, which aired for two seasons on TBS.

Waititi won an Oscar this year for adapting the screenplay for Jojo Rabbit, which he also directed and was nominated for Best Picture. He recently directed the season finale of Disney+’s The Mandalorian and also voiced the bounty-hunter droid IG-11 in the series. Waititi’s current directing project is Next Goal Wins for Searchlight Pictures about the underdog American Samoa soccer team, and he also is behind a Flash Gordon animated film for Fox.

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