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John Malkovich Makes a Splash in First ‘Crossbones’ Trailer

John Malkovich sets sail on network television next month, taking on the role of legendary pirate Blackbeard in NBC’s Crossbones.

But the first full trailer for the event series suggests Malkovich isn’t so much portraying Blackbeard as he is playing a pirate version of himself. His Blackbeard seems prone to monologuing, acupuncture, very deliberate pronunciation and other signature Malkovichisms. Crossbones is not called Being Pirate John Malkovich, but it should be.

Crossbones premieres May 30. Here’s the plot synopsis:

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

Teach/Blackbeard has set his sights on the world’s first longitude chronometer, a device that will change society, sea-trade and global business. In a massive attack on an English vessel, Blackbeard attempts to steal the device; however, Tom Lowe, an English spy working undercover as the ship’s surgeon, destroys the chronometer before it can fall into his hands. Taken as prisoner to Santa Campana Island, Lowe must find a way to reassemble the precious device, all while trying to unfold Blackbeard’s plan… a plan that includes a threat to the English throne even worse than pirates.

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