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First Look: John Malkovich Channels Blackbeard on NBC's Crossbones

The pirate Blackbeard was one bad, scary dude. But when played by the purring John Malkovich on NBC's Crossbones, premiering May 30, he's badder, scarier and a whole lot more...thoughtful.

Aubry D.Arminio

The pirate Blackbeard was one bad, scary dude. But when played by the purring John Malkovich on NBC's Crossbones, premiering May 30, he's badder, scarier and a whole lot more...thoughtful.

"Malkovich's version is not the Blackbeard of popular imagination," exec producer Neil Cross says. "He's got an undercurrent of intellectual perversity — and more in common with Colonel Kurtz, Isaac Newton and James Bond's Blofeld."

Blackbeard also has an assassin in his midst, ship's doctor Tom Lowe. Here, Blackbeard tortures a sailor he thinks is a spy. Imagine what's to come for Tom.

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