WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — When the pirate Stede Bonnet was captured by authorities after trying to escape the Cape Fear River off Southport in 1718, it brought a close the elaborate story of the man known as the “Gentleman Pirate.”
Bonnet’s story will serve as the basis for a new HBO Max comedy series called “Our Flag Means Death” from Oscar-winning writer and director Taika Waititi.
Unlike most pirates who plundered their way into a life of crime on the high seas, Bonnet was a wealthy man who bought his ship and crew, and even paid them out of his pocket. Eventually, he would become a notorious criminal up and down the East Coast of the colonies, where he was, for a time, a close acquaintance of Blackbeard.
He made a stop over in Southport in the summer of 1718 after being double-crossed by Blackbeard and was cornered on the Cape Fear River by a pirate hunter out of South Carolina. After what has been dubbed the Battle of the Cape Fear, Bonnet and his men were captured and taken to Charleston, where they were executed for their crimes.
In announcing the project Tuesday, HBO Max said the new period comedy series is “loosely based on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet, a pampered aristocrat who abandoned his life of privilege to become a pirate.”