Before Treasure Island: 5 Reasons to Get Excited for New Starz Drama 'Black Sails'

Before Treasure Island: 5 Reasons to Get Excited for New Starz Drama 'Black Sails'

Starz is making a major push complete with HBO and Showtime in providing high-quality original programming. "Black Sails" is the latest product of this push. The creative forces behind the new series have assembled a wealth of talent behind the camera and in front of the camera to create an action-packed pirate drama that's sure to be a fan-pleasing experience from day one. "Black Sails" is a prequel to the classic novel "Treasure Island" and introduces Long John Silver in his early pirating career. Fans have five reasons to feel excited about this new Starz series:

1. It unfolds Long John Silver's origin story

Ever wondered how Silver ended up with his pegleg and eyepatch? How did he rise to become a successful and feared pirate captain? "Black Sails" will reveal the mystery behind those questions. Fans get to see what forces shaped Silver's career as a pirate and what episodes led him to lose body parts over time. Awaiting the answers will create excitement. Seeing Silver interact with other characters beyond Jim Hawkins will also be compelling.

2. Michael Bay is the executive producer

Michael Bay's success at the box office means good things for the life of this series. Bay has cultivated a following among movie audiences. The three films he directed in the Transformers franchise, for example, have generated more than $2.6 billion  worldwide in box office revenue since the release into theaters. One element that characterizes each of Michael Bay's movies is a liberal dose of high-octane action and dazzling visual effects. He knows how to create a fantastic visual world and bring his audiences right into the center of it. With Michael Bay in charge of production, “Black Sails” will have a truly cinematic feel even on a small screen, small budget.

3. Neil Marshall will direct the pilot episode

Having a director of Neil Marshall caliber on board is a smart decision. Marshall can draw on past experience in directing period dramas. His most recent theatrical movie, “Centurion,” chronicled the massacre of Rome's Ninth Legion mysterious loss in Caledonia during the second century AD. Marshall also previously directed an episode of the acclaimed HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Marshall's directorial roots are in the horror genre. He gained critical acclaim for horror films “Dog Soldiers” and “The Descent.” With Marshall in the director's chair, expect the pilot episode of “Black Sails” to have a dark undercurrent from start to finish.

4. Starz has guaranteed eight episodes

The creative forces behind "Black Sails" will have a chance to go in-depth with the characters who will inhabit New Providence Island. Starz has already ordered eight episodes for the first season, so viewers will get a chance to see story arcs unfold and characters develop beyond a single pilot episode. There promises to be many more episodes beyond eight if it's a rating success. Starz is showing a commitment to historical dramas, with a series on Marco Polo and a miniseries on the Ottoman Empire also in the pipeline.

5. It's about pirates

The box office success of the four Pirates of the Caribbean films offers concrete evidence that people still enjoy watching pirate adventures on the big screen. Stories about Pirates are popular because these characters are the original bad boys and rebels. They live by their own rules in a time when going against established authority meant certain death. It's hard not to get a thrill investing time in following these types of characters.

"Black Sails" is currently in pre-production in Cape Town, South Africa. It will likely premiere on Starz in early 2014, taking over the slot on the channel's schedule currently reserved for "Spartacus."