John Malkovich's NBC Pirate Drama 'Crossbones' Might Just Be Weird Enough to Work — VIDEO
John Malkovich swanning around in a deep v-neck as a legendary pirate? Maybe a little hard to picture without the visual proof, but here you have it: The trailer for NBC's Crossbones , in which Malkovich plays Blackbeard. As the trailer's voice-over suggests he is a "GENIUS. MAD MAN. LEGEND." What else would he be?
Crossbones, NBC's new pirate drama, stars Malkovich, of course — but also Richard Coyle, who seems to be very different here than he was in his days on UK comedy Coupling. As to whether or not NBC can pull off pirates, that's presumably up to Neil Cross, who's heading up this series after creating Luthor (we must forever be grateful to him for bringing the world more Idris Elba) and writing for Doctor Who.
Here's the show's synopsis, via Deadline:
Crossbones is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. To gain control of this fearsome society, Tom Lowe (Coyle), 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.
Overall this seems like pretty classic pirate fare, and also pretty classic network drama fare for that matter. That "Genius. Mad man. Legend." tagline could be used as a descriptor for dozens of TV dramas. I guess all that's left for Crossbones and its Blackbeard is for them to find a way to distinguish themselves from all the other pirate stuff that came before them. That, or find a way to work within the tropes to give us something really fun.
Crossbones premieres Friday, May 30.