The open sea is a dangerous place even for the most skilled sailors. An unexpected storm or a rogue wave can end any journey in the blink of an eye. But it was never more perilous to set sail than during the heyday of piracy, when legendary figures etched their names in history by looting and pillaging their way up and down coasts around the world. However, no matter how threatening those pirates might have been, it turns out that time period is also ripe for comedy. Because the latest trailer for HBO Max‘s new series Our Flag Means Death charts a course for maximum silliness.
Flight of the Conchords‘ Rhys Darby is the captain of HBO’s new comedy. He plays Stede Bonnet, a real person who abandoned his comfortable life to become the “Gentleman Pirate” in the early 18th century. While the show is “very loosely based” on the real Bonnet’s life, he did work with the infamous Blackbeard for awhile. (Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Teach. Fun fact.) And that famous pirate is played on the series by Taika Waititi. The series’ official synopsis doesn’t capture the inherent absurdity of the situation, the cast, or the show the way this trailer does. From HBO:
After trading in the seemingly charmed life of a gentleman for one of a swashbuckling buccaneer, Stede becomes captain of the pirate ship Revenge. Struggling to earn the respect of his potentially mutinous crew, Stede’s fortunes change after a fateful run-in with the infamous Captain Blackbeard, played by Waititi. Stede and crew attempt to get their ship together and survive life on the high seas.
Waititi, who directed the pilot, also serves as an executive producer. As do showrunner David Jenkins, Garrett Basch, and Dan Halsted. The series also stars Nathan Foad, Samson Kayo, Vico Ortiz, Ewen Bremner, Joel Fry, Matt Maher, Kristian Nairn, Con O’Neill, Guz Khan, David Fane, Rory Kinnear, Samba Schutte, Nat Faxon, Fred Armisen, and Leslie Jones. And the first season features cameos from Kristen Schaal and Nick Kroll.
That’s a heck of a cast to hit the high seas with. At least for a fictional comedy. We wouldn’t actually want them to join a ship’s crew. The ocean is already scary enough without a bunch of actors playing pirate.
Our Flag Means Death‘s ten-episode first season comes to HBO Max on March 3 with the first three episodes. The next three arrive on March 10. Then it ends with two episodes on March 17, followed by the last two on March 24.