As of last fall, it was looking like House's Hugh Laurie might be playing the famous pirate Blackbeard in NBC's planned drama series Crossbones. There's a major update on that front, and the bad news is, Laurie isn't starring. The series is still happening, but John Malkovich will be playing the lead. Word that Malkovich is climbing aboard this series certainly takes the sting out of the Laurie news, doesn't it?

Last November, Laurie was reportedly near a deal for the starring role in Crossbones, a series based on The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard. NBC gave the period drama a 10-episode order, and we've been left to wait for confirmation on who would play the starring role. Today EW reports that John Malkovich will play the role of Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, a man who "ruled over the pirates, thieves and ne'er-do-wells on the Bahamian island of New Providence in the early 1700s."

Right now, it's looking this this series won't air until next fall. While the part might have been a pretty fantastic House follow-up for Laurie, it's impossible to complain about the prospect of Malkovich in the role. The Oscar-nominated actor's credits speak for themselves. He's appeared in Dangerous Liaisons, In the Line of Fire, Places in the Heart, Con Air and most recently, the supporting role of General Grigio in Warm Bodies. Like Laurie, Malkovich knows how to play a role seriously, while also working in a little bit of humor into the character. That skill may prove particularly useful in a role like this.
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