John Malkovich to Play Blackbeard on NBC’s ‘Crossbones’

John Malkovich (Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

By Tim Molloy

LOS ANGELES ( – Oscar nominee John Malkovich is taking to the high seas, starring as the pirate Blackbeard in NBC’s new drama “Crossbones.”

The two-time Oscar winner, known for his unsettling characters, will take the role in the series written by “Luther” creator Neil Cross. “House” actor Hugh Laurie was previously reported to be up for the role.

“Crossbones” will portray an 18th century pirate society more civilized than the British Empire, NBC said when it announced the series last May.

The 10-episode series comes from Reliance’s independent studio Georgeville Television, and is based on Colin Woodard’s “The Republic of Pirates.”

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The show’s 10-episode run will allow Malkovich, best known for film roles in “Dangerous Liasons” and “Being John Malkovich,” to work in television without committing years to a series.

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