Although UK fans will undoubtedly be very happy to learn that the second season of Our Flag Means Death is coming to British shores from this week, it doesn't change the fact that the series hasn't been renewed for season 3.


It was announced last month that Max, HBO's streaming service, cancelled the series after a two season run. The news came as a surprise for a show that has consistently garnered acclaim, especially for its representation of queer storylines.

The series follows Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), an unhappy aristocrat who abandons his family and comfortable life to become a pirate despite his lack of experience in crime and at sea.

Essentially, it's a midlife crisis that sees Stede try to become a 'gentleman pirate' with little to no experience. But along with his slightly dysfunctional crew, we follow the gang aboard the Revenge as they are faced with misadventure and blossoming romance.

It's safe to say that there a loyal legion of fans behind the series, who are mourning the loss of the show in our schedules, but why exactly won't there be a third season of Our Flag Means Death? Read on to find out.

More like this

Why won't there be a Our Flag Means Death season 3?

Taika Waititi in Our Flag Means Death
Taika Waititi in Our Flag Means Death Nicola Dove/Max

On the announcement of Our Flag Means Death being cancelled on Max, a spokesperson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “While Max will not be moving forward with a third season of Our Flag Means Death, we are so proud of the joyous, hilarious, and heartfelt stories that creator David Jenkins, Taika Waititi, Rhys Darby, Garrett Basch, Dan Halsted, Adam Stein, Antoine Douaihy, and the entire superb cast and crew brought to life.

"We also thank the dedicated fans who embraced these stories and built a gorgeous, inclusive community surrounding the show."

The pirate comedy, which was created by David Jenkins and starred Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi, was critically acclaimed and beloved by many fans so it's safe to say that the news has come as a shock to many.

While Max haven't provided an exact reason to cancel the show, it does seem as though the decision to end the series with season 2 was one that Waititi previously thought was a good decision.

Speaking to Consequence back in 2023, the actor – who also serves as an executive producer on Our Flag Means Death – said that the season 2 finale, in regards to his character Ed and Stede (Darby), “feels like a natural end to their story. Just because I feel like, you know, they’ve been through so much and then wind up in that nice place at a happy ending”.

He added: “I love the show so much and maybe it can survive without Rhys and I. Maybe, I don’t know. I do I think the character of Blackbeard is something I’m really proud of.”

But for Jenkins, he told the same publication that he felt as though the series was envisioned as being three seasons long.

Jenkins said: “You can tell the story in three seasons and get a full sense of a relationship: A couple first understanding love in the first season, then to a relationship that’s a little more mature, and they’re learning what to do with that love.”

He revealed that a third season would then focus on Stede and Edward “learning how to keep and hang onto that love as it gets more mature".

But of course, with Waititi being an in-demand writer, director and producer, there's also the matter of finding a time for a third season that would fit in everyone's schedules. Jenkins acknowledged that three seasons would be the limit if only due to Waititi’s schedule, as “I feel like that’s about as long as you can hang on to somebody who’s directing 50 things at once”.

Waititi's most recent film release, Next Goals Wins, will be followed by directing the film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Klara and the Sun. Waititi's What We Do In The Shadows is also set to end with its sixth season.

As for where that leaves Our Flag Means Death, there's certainly been a push from fans for the series to get a renewal, with funds being raised ($21,000 to be exact) for a Times Square billboard for the cause, as well as ongoing petition that calls on streamers like Apple TV+, Prime Video and Netflix to consider picking the series up.

Our Flag Means Death seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer now. Check out more of our Comedy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.