BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht announced the straight-to-series greenlight of "Black Sails" (working title) from executive producer Michael Bay. The new STARZ Original series is expected to air in 2014. The eight-episode first season of the pirate adventure centers on the tales of Captain Flint and his men, and takes place twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island."
Flint, the most brilliant and most feared pirate captain of his day, takes on a fast-talking young addition to his crew who goes by the name John Silver. Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day – a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality.
"Starz is excited to be working with a visionary like Michael,'" said Albrecht. "Along with the high-octane action that is a hallmark of a Michael Bay production, it has the elements that Starz originals are striving to bring to the premium landscape: epic, larger than life, cinematic storytelling. The series is also a property we believe will appeal to the global content marketplace with broadcasters around the world."
"I'm excited to branch out into television," says Michael Bay, the record-breaking director/producer of such big screen hits as Transformers and Bad Boys, "especially doing a long-form series for STARZ, a network known for supporting cutting edge programming."
Following the model of the "Spartacus" franchise and "Magic City," Starz will retain all domestic and international rights to the dramatic series, including television, home video, and digital.
"Black Sails" will be executive produced by Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form [producers on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and Nightmare on Elm Street (2009)]. The series is created by showrunner and executive producer Jon Steinberg (creator "Jericho," "Human Target") and co-executive producer Robert Levine ("Touch").
The production is set to shoot at Cape Town Studios in Cape Town, South Africa later this year.
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® brands with approximately 19.6 million and 33.2 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LMCA).
About Michael Bay
After launching his career as an award-winning commercial and music video director, MICHAEL BAY (Director/Producer) quickly emerged as one of Hollywood's boldest and most bankable feature film directors. Characterized by his aggressive visual style and high-octane action sequences that have become the L.A. native's cinematic signature, the films that Bay has directed and produced via his two production companies have surpassed $5.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
His impressive directing resume includes the films Bad Boys and Bad Boys 2, both starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence; The Rock starring Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery and Ed Harris; Armageddon starring Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Liv Tyler; Pearl Harbor starring Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale; The Island starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou and Sean Bean; as well as the trilogy of Transformers blockbuster movies starring Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro. The latest installment, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, is currently the 4th highest grossing movie of all time.
He is presently at work in Miami shooting the dark comedy, Pain and Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub and Ed Harris. Based on actual events, this thriller chronicles the preposterous yet diabolical exploits of three bodybuilders who kidnap a wealthy businessman only to find themselves trapped by their own schemes.
Bay is also the founder and principal partner of Platinum Dunes, a production company originally conceived to give talented commercial and video directors a chance to break into the feature world, as well as being a partner in Digital Domain, a state-of-the-art digital effects house.
About Platinum Dunes
Platinum Dunes was established in 2001 by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller with the goal of creating opportunities for first-time directors to make commercial, high-concept movies on modest budgets for a global audience. Recently, the company has broadened its horizons to include veteran directors and larger-scale projects. They are currently in post-production on Vigilandia for Universal Pictures and in pre-production on NINJA TURTLES for Paramount Pictures.
Platinum Dunes' first production was the 2009 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by Marcus Nispel. The movie won the Teen Choice Award for Best Thriller and was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards, and grossed more than $110 million worldwide. The second Platinum Dunes project, the 2005 adaptation of The Amityville Horror, directed by Andrew Douglas, also earned over $110 million worldwide.
Two more films quickly followed: the prequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, directed by Jonathan Liebesman and a re-conceptualization of the 1986 thriller, The Hitcher. It was during this collaboration that Platinum Dunes signed a first-look production deal with Rogue Pictures.
In 2009 Platinum Dunes pumped out two more successful films; The Unborn, which has grossed $78 million worldwide to date and Friday the 13th, which set the record for the biggest horror opening of all time with $40,570,000 million. Most recently, Platinum Dunes produced their highest grossing film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, which made over $118 million worldwide.
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SOURCE Starz Entertainment, LLC