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The twice Oscar-nominated actor has been cast as the leading role in the network’s upcoming pirate themed series, Crossbones. The ten-episode series is written by and co-executive produced by Luther’s Neil Cross. Malkovich will take on the role of Edward Teach, more commonly known as the notorious pirate, Blackbeard. The program is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence. The story will explore the nation of sailors, thieves and outlaws that function under Blackbeard’s rule and pose a great threat to international commerce. Tom Lowe, an undercover assassin, is sent over to New Providence in an attempt to take down the infamous pirate, but the task proves difficult, as things are more complicated than they seem.
This marks Malkovich’s first significant television role since the 2002 French miniseries Les Miserables and his first program for American television. The series’ producers had previously courted House actor, Hugh Laurie for the role of Blackbeard. Certainly attracting an actor with such prestige and experience as Malkovich is a great push for the NBC drama and bodes well for the quality of the material and the creators of the show. Walter Parkes, a producer for the show expressed his appreciation of the actor and his involvement in the series by stating, “Over the last three decades, John Malkovich has occupied a singular place in the world of international film, theatre, and even opera. We are awed by the opportunity to bring his brilliance to the small screen, particularly in the service of the character of Blackbeard, as so brilliantly conceived by Neil Cross.”