Michael Bay and Starz launch pirate series 'Black Sails'

michael-bay-black-sails-gi.jpg"Transformers" and "Pearl Harbor" director Michael Bay is embarking on his first TV project, a drama series for Starz that takes on characters from Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island."

Starz has ordered eight episodes of the show, currently called "Black Sails," and it's likely to premiere in 2014. The series will dramatize events featuring Captain Flint, a young John Silver (pre-wooden leg, we're guessing) and other pirates 20 years prior to the events in "Treasure Island." Jon Steinberg and Robert Levine ("Jericho," "Human Target") created the show, and Bay will executive produce with Steinberg, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. Levine will be a co-exec producer.

"I'm excited to branch out into television, especially doing a long-form series for Starz, a network known for supporting cutting edge programming," Bay says.

As described by Starz, "Black Sails" sounds a little bit like a high-seas version of "Deadwood." Its primary setting is New Providence Island, now part of the Bahamas, which is described as "a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality."

Production on "Black Sails," which hasn't been cast yet, is set to begin later this year in South Africa.
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