As Starz continues gearing up to set sail on the high seas early 2014, the production has found its Captain Flint. Toby Stephens, who played the villain in the James Bond film “Die Another Day,” has been signed on to star in the upcoming eight-episode original series “Black Sails.”

The new series takes place 20 years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island” and slither from the executive producer Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes production team. But undoubtedly, viewers can expect to get creator Jon Steinberg’s take on just how Captain Flint came to buy the treasure that serves as the centerpiece of Stevensons’ Treasure Island. Viewers may remember Steinberg from his previous series “Human Target” and action/drama series “Jericho.” Toby Stephens as Captain Flint Stephens will play Flint, the feared captain of all the pirates and the leader of the pirate ship Walrus. Threatened with dying out on all sides, he and his team/crew fight to the bloody end for the survival of the New Providence Island, a mecca for bad dudes that convert with degenerate pirates and all kinds of ignorant things.

The English actor Stephens’ other films include “The Great Gatsby,” “Space Cowboys” and his approaching “All Things to All Men.” On the small screen he was a staple on “Wired,” “Robin Hood,” “Strike” and the BBC mini-series “Jane Eyre.” With his addition to the cast, Toby Stephens joins fellow Brit Tom Hopper, the first actor casted on the series, who will serve right alongside Stephens about the Walrus as the ship’s first mate William “Billy” Bones. Like Stephens, UK audiences should be most familiar with Hopper’s work, though American audiences are likely to recognize Hopper from his work on BBC crossover hit “Merlin.”

Hitting the High Seas As the cast of “Black Sails” falls into place, the team has already tapped a first-rate assembly team. Along with Michael Bay as producer and Jon Steinberg as show runner and executive producer, the “Black Sails” pilot will get a boost from Neil Marshall, writer/director of the horror movie “The Descent” and director of “Game of Thrones” epic battle episode “Blackwater.” Production will begin at Cape Town Studios in Cape Town, South Africa, in the next several months, according to a press release statement.

In addition to the pilot, Starz has green-lighted an additional seven episodes of “Black Sails” for its initial season. If successful, fans of Michael Bay, Jon Steinberg and the actors involved in the series can expect future seasons of piracy and treasure-hunting and degenerate thrill seeking hustlers and prostitutes. If you’re wondering how big a famous pirate tale can appear on the mini screen, check out Steinberg and Marshall’s previous television work. Steinberg’s “Jericho” (1966 TV series) and especially Marshall’s “Blackwater” give viewers a good idea of the kind of full-scale visuals they can expect when the show debuts, and are good indicators of why film veteran Bay teamed up with this crew to bring his executive producing credits to Television.

Authored By: Andrew Wenzel

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