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Our Flag Means Death - What We Know So Far

The cast of "Our Flag Means Death" has recently added multiple actors to its cast, which means there's no time like the present to take stock of where production on the upcoming HBO Max half-hour comedy stands. Announced earlier this year, "Our Flag Means Death" will reunite "What We Do in the Shadows" co-stars Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby. Waititi and Darby will perform in the six-episode television show, with Waititi also executive producing and directing the pilot episode. Additionally, "Our Flag Means Death" will be overseen by showrunner David Jenkins, the creator of the short-lived TBS comedy show "People of Earth."

Since breaking out as comedy stars in the early to mid-2000s with HBOs "Flight of the Conchords" and "What We Do in the Shadows," respectively, Darby and Waititi have stayed busy by appearing in or working on lots of high-profile projects. For Darby, this meant popping up in supporting roles on popular TV shows including "Modern Family," "Bob's Burgers," and "Carmen Sandiego," as well as live-action features including "Yes Man," and Sony Pictures' "Jumanji" duology starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. As for Waititi, he has quickly become one of the most sought-out talents in Hollywood, following the critical and commercial success of "Thor: Ragnarok," which he directed and starred in, as well as "Jojo Rabbit," which he directed, wrote, starred in, and earned six Oscar nomination for. After so many years spent forging their own paths, Darby and Waititi are coming back together — first with the Waititi-directed comedy "Next Goal Wins," starring Michael Fassbender, and then "Our Flag Means Death," which will undoubtedly serve as a showcase for the pair's electric onscreen chemistry and impeccable comedic chops. 

Here's what else we know about "Our Flag Means Death," including the release date, cast, and plot.

What is the release date for Our Flag Means Death?

Currently, HBO Max has not set a premiere date for "Our Flag Means Death." Furthermore, the wait for the first episode of "Our Flag Means Death" could be a bit longer than one might expect. For one thing, Taika Waititi is directing the "Our Flag Means Death" pilot, but it's unclear how that will fit into his already packed schedule. Once Waititi locks picture on "Thor: Love and Thunder," he'll have to focus on his untitled "Star Wars" movie, the two "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" projects apparently still has in the work at Netflix (via Collider), and the pilot for the "Time Bandits" TV series remake he's directing. Basically, it's unclear how Waititi's projects are prioritized on his to-do list at this point in time. If he does remain attached as the director of the pilot episode of "Our Flag Means Death," then some creative scheduling will likely have to be done to make sure shooting can fit in with his schedule as well as HBO Max's own production timeline.

In the most rapid of timelines, "Our Flag Means Death" could premiere as early as late 2022 if the series can begin shooting in mid-to-late 2021. This would assume that, from beginning to end, there are no shooting delays or reshoots, editing the episodes goes smoothly, and so forth. Far likelier is the scenario where there will be bumps in the production road and it takes a bit longer to get "Our Flag Means Death" ready to air. Given that the show is likely nearing the end of casting and is ostensibly eyeing a filming start in late 2021, it's more reasonable to believe "Our Flag Means Death" will premiere on HBO Max in early 2023.

Who is in the cast of Our Flag Means Death?

The "Our Flag Means Death" cast is shaping up to be an eclectic team, indeed. When the project was first announced, Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby were already attached as cast members. Per The Hollywood Reporter's report on the project, Darby was cast to play Stede Bonnet, an 18th-century aristocrat who traded in his cushy life for that of a pirate's. As for Waititi, he will be popping up in a supporting role as the infamous pirate Blackbeard.

In mid-June, it was reported via Deadline that several actors had been added to the cast of "Our Flag Means Death." Those actors are: Kristian Nairn (aka Hodor from "Game of Thrones"), who will play Wee John Feeney; Rory Kinnear ("The Imitation Game") who will play both Captain Nigel Badminton and Chauncey Badminton; Samson Kayo (Amazon Prime Video's "Truth Seekers") will play Oluwande; Nathan Foad ("Bloods") will play Izzy; and Vico Ortiz (Starz's "Vida"), who will play Bonifacia. All of the new cast additions have been set as series regulars and, although Deadline's report does not confirm it, we have a feeling most of these characters will pop up in Stede Bonnet's wily pirate crew.

What is the plot of Our Flag Means Death?

The plot of "Our Flag Means Death" will transport audiences back to the late 17th and early 18th century, where we'll meet Stede Bonnet (Darby), a Barbados-born aristocrat who gives up his pampered lifestyle for the rough-and-tumble world of piracy. 

"Our Flag Means Death" will be loosely based on Bonnet's adventures at sea, which means it will also involve exploring the pirate captain's close alliance with Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard. Per Smithsonian Magazine, Bonnet became an infamous pirate on the high seas of the Eastern seaboard, as well as throughout the Caribbean, in the early years of the 18th century. What makes Bonnet such a notable figure within the golden age of piracy going on at that time, Smithsonian Magazine points out, is that Bonnet had very little sailing experience and practically no reason to take up piracy — which was seen as a "lifestyle, profession, and political cause" — other than some alleged marital problems at home. In the 1710s, Bonnet purchased a ship legally, named that ship "Revenge," hired a crew of around 70 men, and together took up the lifestyle of pirates. The upstart pirate would seek guidance from Blackbeard and, for a brief time, aligned himself with the more notorious pirate, as the men sailed their ships together for a short time ... until Blackbeard realized Bonnet was inexperienced and ineffectual, and that he could seize his ship and crew from him. 

It will be curious to see which events from Bonnet's real life make it into "Our Flag Means Death," and it will be doubly interesting to see how Bonnet and Blackbeard's real-life relationship plays out in fictional form through Waititi and Darby's performances.