Actor Peter Ustinov portrayed the character of the pirate Blackbeard as a rolly and rompous person and much different to the way the personage was characterized in the movie's source novel by Ben Stahl.
The film's opening prologue states: "In the early years of the eighteenth century lived the pirate Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard. From the Spanish Main to the Carolinas, he wrought a bloody tale of destruction, unparalleled for its ferocity and terror. Blackbeard was killed in sea battle off the American shore ~. This was followed by widespread joy when it became known the dread pirate had gone at last ~ ~ ~. Or had he?".