EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: British actor Richard Coyle (W.E.) has been cast as the co-lead opposite John Malkovich in the NBC pirate drama Crossbones. Also cast in the series, from Luther creator Neil Cross and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, are Claire Foy and Tracy Ifeachor. Crossbones is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. To gain control of this fearsome society, Tom Lowe (Coyle), a highly skilled undercover assassin, is sent to the pirates’ haven to take down the brilliant and charismatic Blackbeard. But the closer Lowe gets, the more he finds that his quest is not so simple. Lowe can’t help but admire the political ideals of Blackbeard, whose thirst for knowledge knows no bounds. Foy will play Kate, the beautiful Governor’s daughter, now a pirate who works for Blackbeard and is a love interest for Lowe.

Ifeachor, repped by NB Management and UK’s United Agents, will play Nenna, a smart, powerful fighter who exhibits complete loyalty and a slight fear for Captain Blackbeard. Coyle, repped by IFA and Troika, had a major seasonlong arc on USA’s Covert Affairs as Annie’s love interest Simon Fischer. Cross wrote the script and is executive producing with Parkes, MacDonald and Ted Gold for Universal TV. David Slade is directing the opening episode.