Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for Starz. The premium cable channel had a strong launch of historical fantasy “Da Vinci’s Demons,” created by “Man of Steel” writer David S. Goyer, last week, and today has unveiled the first trailer for 2014 series “Black Sails,” an eight-episode swashbuckler that takes place 20 years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island.”
The pirate drama comes from executive producer Michael Bay, and is the blockbuster king’s first real venture into television. “The Descent” filmmaker Neil Marshall, who attracted a lot of praise for helming the battle-at-sea “Blackwater” episode of “Game of Thrones” last year, directed the “Black Sails” pilot. Toby Stephens (“Die Another Day”) plays pirate Captain Flint in the series, while Luke Arnold plays a fast-talking newcomer to the crew who goes by the name of John Silver. Because this is a cable series, the trailer features some apparently requisite girl-on-girl make-outs in addition to sword, fist and ship fighting.
“Black Sails” was created by showrunner and executive producer Jon Steinberg (creator of both “Jericho” and “Human Target”) and co-executive producer Robert Levine (“Touch”). The series joins “Bates Motel” and “Hannibal” in a recent trend of prequels on TV, and will face off against NBC’s own upcoming pirate drama “Crossbones,” starring John Malkovich as Edward “Blackbeard” Teach.