In the new series Crossbones, John Malkovich is set to play the role of the infamous pirate Blackbeard, proving once again that he can steal (and possibly plunder) the show as a villain. The last few years have certainly shown us that pirates in TV, cinema, and even video games have staying power, and NBC is banking on it.
In the recent years, we have not only seen Johnny Depp bring a new kind of pirate to life in Captain Jack Sparrow, but the entire concept of the high seas “privateer” life has spawned a new interest. Ubisoft knew it when they created the best-received game yet in the Assassin’s Creed series, and Michael Bay is doing his own take on TV with Black Sails. It’s the latter of these that Crossbones and John Malkovich are directly competing with, putting the director who loves his explosions up against the Oscar-nominated quirkiness of Malkovich in his latest villain role.
Crossbones‘ John Malkovich has seen quite a vast variety of roles in his acting career, from Bruce Willis’ super paranoid retiree buddy in RED to the incredibly weird Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom in Nicolas Cage’s Con Air, and even a rather silly tough guy boss in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He has always added a certain level of weirdness to every role, and as the legendary Edward Teach (or Edward Thatch as some sources call him), Malkovich seems to have free reign to be as strange as he wants. In one scene, he apparently crosses acupuncture with a reference to Hellraiser using an odd head decoration. In another, he “introduces” himself by executing an intruder right in front of his audience.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) April 22, 2014
While the RED actor doesn’t really have a black beard in the role, it’s the violent oddness that made the legendary pirate truly stand out, and Crossbones‘ John Malkovich could easily be enough to make us wonder why he ever needed an actual black beard.
The show itself is about a physician and assassin (Richard Coyle as Tom Lowe) who is sent by the British government to bring Blackbeard to justice. He is caught up in the villain’s charisma as Malkovich states, “I’m not the devil. I cast out the devil.”
Set to go up against Michael Bay’s Black Sails directly, this new show could easily conquer the ratings and plunder your viewing time before you know it. Which series most represents the pirate’s life for you?