'Hannibal' Producer David Slade to Direct 'Crossbones' Pirate Pilot for NBC

Crossbones banner with John Malkovich

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.

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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

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