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NBC’s ‘Crossbones’: John Malkovich to Play Blackbeard, Hugh Laurie Out

NBC Crossbones John Malkovich Blackbeard
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Despite receiving a 10-episode straight-to-series order and a tentative summer debut date, NBC’s ‘Crossbones‘ hasn’t been very active on the high seas of late. When last we heard, former ‘House‘ star Hugh Laurie was on deck to play the infamous pirate Blackbeard for the period tale, but now that ship seems to have set sail. Two-time Oscar-winner John Malkovich will instead take the role, but will NBC’s ‘Crossbones’ leave port anytime soon?

‘House’ fans were ecstatic back in November when Hugh Laurie was reportedly circling a lead role in NBC’s ‘Crossbones,’ but the dour doc appears to have come down with a case of Lupus. Now, sources report that John Malkovich will add being Blackbeard to his resume, portraying the infamous pirate Edward Teach in the forthcoming summer series.

Based on Colin Woodard’s book ‘The Republic of Pirates’ and scripted by ‘Luther’ creator Neil Cross, the series takes place in the “golden age of piracy” and would see Blackbeard at the height of his power ruling over a nation of criminals. Take a look at NBC’s official summation below:

It’s 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence, the first functioning democracy in the Americas, where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Part shantytown, part marauder’s paradise, this is a place like no other on earth – and a mounting threat to international commerce.

To gain control of this fearsome society, Tom Lowe, a highly skilled undercover assassin, is sent to the pirates’ haven to take down the brilliant and charismatic Blackbeard. But the closer Lowe gets, the more he finds that his quest is not so simple. Lowe can’t help but admire the political ideals of Blackbeard, whose thirst for knowledge knows no bounds – and no law. But Lowe is not the only danger to Blackbeard’s rule. He is a man with many villainous rivals and one great weakness – a passionately driven woman whom he cannot deny.

No reason was given for Laurie’s decline of the role, but what say you? Would you watch a ‘Crossbones’ TV series with John Malkovich as Blackbeard?

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