Monday, March 11, 2013

John Malkovich to play lead in NBC drama based on Republic of Pirates

Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that John Malkovich will be playing Blackbeard in "Crossbones," the forthcoming NBC drama based on my third book, The Republic of Pirates. It's Malkovich's first television role, mine too for that matter, if being the "based on the book" guy counts as a role.

"Crossbones" is written by Neil Cross, best known for the BBC crime drama "Luther", and produced by Parkes/MacDonald (The Kite Runner, Gladiator, Men In Black) and Ted Gold ("Three Rivers"). Georgeville Television, Reliance Entertainment/Motion Picture Capital and Universal Television are making it happen. NBC made a 10-episode straight to series order last May.

Hollywood Reporter says that Hugh Laurie -- who was reportedly in negotiations for the lead role -- ultimately bowed out. Variety reports production will begin in June.

The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down revealed the true story of the most famous pirate gang of all time and the revolutionary-minded rogue state they founded in the Bahamas. It was painstakingly -- often painfully -- reconstructed from archival sources, including previously neglected documents from the British National Archives and other collections. It's already available as an audio book and in Spanish and Danish translations, though more foreign editions are now in the works as well.

It's nice to see all the buzz this news has generated this afternoon, from Reuters and the New York Daily News to the newspaper I work for here in Maine and even our rival, the Bangor Daily News

"This is basically Deadwood only with pirates," adds The Atlantic Wire. "They should have called it Deadwood: Pirates Edition and Malkovich could play Cap'n Al Swearrrrrengen. People would watch that."

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