‘Hannibal’ Producer David Slade to Direct ‘Crossbones’ Pirate Pilot for NBC

Published 2 years ago by

Crossbones banner with John Malkovich Hannibal Producer David Slade to Direct Crossbones Pirate Pilot for NBC

David Slade seems to have firmly left behind any residual stigma he might have been carrying from directing The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, having moved on to executive produce NBC’s Hannibal, a brilliant adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel “Red Dragon” that stars Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter.

Slade is also directing the pilot episode of new SyFy series Helix, which is currently filming in Montreal. For a long time, the director was working on a reboot of Daredevil for Twentieth Century Fox, but since the studio failed to get the project off the ground in time and the rights reverted back to Marvel, it seems like Slade will be sticking with TV projects for the time being.

He definitely won’t have much vacation time while he waits to start work on season 2 of Hannibal; Deadline reports that Slade has now signed on to direct the pilot episode of NBC’s new pirate show Crossbones, which stars John Malkovich in the lead as infamous pirate Edward Teach (AKA Blackbeard). Crossbones has received a straight-to-series order, kicking off with ten episodes in its opening season, and is being penned by Luther creator Neil Cross, who also wrote the screenplay for the recent Guillermo del Toro-produced horror movie, Mama.

Crossbones is based on Colin Woodard’s non-fiction book “The Republic of Pirates,” and is set on the Bahamian island of New Providence in 1715, during the ‘Golden Age’ of piracy. The show is being produced by husband-and-wife team Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald (Men in Black 3), and Cross will also act as executive producer alongside his writing duties.

David Slade will direct The Widow for Vendome Pictures Hannibal Producer David Slade to Direct Crossbones Pirate Pilot for NBC

Not to be outdone, Starz is launching their own pirate-themed TV show, albeit one that’s based slightly more in fiction than fact, called Black Sails, which is being produced by Michael Bay and is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” that tells the story of young Long John Silver. In the video game world, Ubisoft is releasing a new addition to their popular Assassin’s Creed franchise called Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which has the same setting as Crossbones and also features Blackbeard as a major supporting character.

Meanwhile Disney, which helped bring pirates back with the Pirates of the Caribbean series, seems to have cooled off on the idea in the wake of The Lone Ranger‘s box office failure and is currently considering budget cuts for Pirates of the Caribbean 5, if the rumors of a re-negotiated deal with producer Jerry Bruckheimer are to be believed.

When we polled Screen Rant readers on which new NBC shows they’d be most likely to check out this fall, Crossbones was tied for first place with The Michael J. Fox Show, though whether that’s because of the pirates or specifically because of the prospect of John Malkovich as a pirate is difficult to say. With Slade now attached to direct the pilot, following on from the widespread critical acclaim (despite low ratings) for Hannibal, it seems likely that a few more curious viewers will be tuning in to see Crossbones when it makes its debut.

Will you be checking out Crossbones when it airs on NBC, or would you rather walk the plank?


Crossbones is expected to air in late 2013/early 2014, but we’ll keep you updated when more specific dates become available.

Source: Deadline

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Crossbones
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  1. Now this is altogether fascinating. I’m onboard.
    Slade + Cross + Malkovich = must see TV.

  2. John Malkovich playing a Pirate. I would like to know why this has never happened before. Indeed, whoever came up with that one sentence in the ideas room should be rewarded with a %400 raise.

  3. Hugh Laurie was announced as the lead last
    November but he ultimately did not commit.

    • Good…although HL has some talent in some people’s eyes, I have never really cared for him (probably because I hated House, altho my son loved it).

      • I think Hugh could have delivered an interesting take on this.
        I am not disappointed with Malkovich though, he seems so right.

  4. Man, pirates have really been resurging in pop culture lately, what’s the deal with that?

  5. I don’t think their will be enough sustainable interest for a
    Show like this on network TV. Especially with the probable high production costs. Might be interesting but I don’t see it lasting. Th production costs will sink it.

    • They probably said that about Spartacus and Game Of Thrones too.

      Plus if I remember correctly, the Sky Drama created Treasure Island and Never Land one-offs did extremely well ratings wise.

      This isn’t the other pirate show we saw trailed earlier in the year is it? If not then damn, we’re being spoiled.

      • Both of those shows are on premium cable. As I wrote Network TV (NBC) does not have a good track record with these types of shows.

        • NBC is handling Hannibal well. Maybe they will handle this well too.
          Before Hannibal NBC had a track record of mismanaging everything.

        • @ER

          That’s why I find US networks weird.

          Our major networks always put on big budget shows like this, Hannibal etc. What are your major networks scared of?

          • Hannibal is an American television series
            developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC.

          • Perhaps you were using Hannibal, Dazz, an example of the kind of show
            British networks produce and not that one actually produced Hannibal.

            • @Dazz

              I think it’s because US networks have had bad luck trying to pull them off. BBC has on the other has a long tradition of such historical dramas. The audience has come to accept and enjoy them. Also American TV waters down the violence and realism.

  6. Dazz, I think the distinction has to do with subject matter. They’re scared of public outcry. You Brits tend to be a bit more open minded. HBO and non-network stations (Showtime and FX also come to mind) are able (more willing?) to use language that is generally considered “inappropriate for younger viewers” and tackle more “adult” themes. They’re more likely to have “mature” subject matter.

    I personally would prefer to see Malkovitch in a show (on a network) that would allow them those freedoms – especially one based on Edward Teach.

    I agree with Mr. Palmer, that so far NBC has done well with Hannibal in pushing those “mature” boundaries – and I’ll continue to watch.

    • Sorry – Mr. Palmar

      • Thanks for noticing the spelling difference, BigMT.
        It is second nature to assume Palmer ends with the very
        common ER and not like the very unusual AR in my name Palmar.

  7. I will be watching both Black Sails and Crossbones. They could be just unique enough to catch on. Shiver my timbers and walk the plank if they don’t, folks.

    • “Shiver me timbers” is my favorite pirate expression which was actually
      a nautical phrase based on a sailing ship’s timbers (the support frames)
      which in heavy seas would “shiver” stiking fear and awe to the sailors.

  8. WTF happened to Hugh Laurie?

    • Connecting the dots it appears to
      have been Laurie’s decision to decline.
      The why and wherefore unknown and unsaid.

  9. An unexpected pirate trend is going around. Wouldn’t mind if One Piece(manga/anime) was put on the silver screen. Then again, I don’t want to see another Dragonball evolution. Man that movie sucked. Ugh

  10. They shoul raise thir budged and make those ersies as big movie projects on the big Screen.
    Paramount has or is weavd from their Develpment with Producer Pat Croci, Blackbeard, and if NBS resure ts the show then Parpumount might onsider and greenlit Black beared that was mean to bre a trology and paenned by scribe of Gladiaor, David Frazzoni.

    Disney shoul back of the treasure chest, and they should allow other studios to take a scoope of the treasure., That needs to be shared not being selfish,
    I guees that is wat has happened woth Lone Ranger. Jack Sparpww need to leave the dreads and bickles to other actors.
    Now is the time the studios to finance big project, Warner re-make of Captain Blood, directed by Phillip Noyce, Nock Cassavates need to surpthe spam and make Pirate Hinyer, the true story of Cpatain Kidd.
    Or Mr scott and Bruckmier if you want to be safe with Disney you can resurect your Pirate Flick Captain Kaptain Kidd and ger Russel Crow to reprice his smilar Master od Commander.
    enought said