Michael Bay takes on Treasure Island

Starz has confirmed that it will be bringing Black Sails to the premium television network.

The new serial is a project for producer /director Michael Bay of Transformers fame. The show will tell the story of the pirates of the high seas in the story-world of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island, taking place twenty years before those events. The protagonists are seemingly to be Captain Flint and a young “Long” John Silver.

“[We are] excited to be working with a visionary like Michael,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said in an official statement.

“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.”

What he means by that last point is that Starz is hoping to make a bunch of money off the broadcast and home-video rights to the series, which, as is par for their productions, they will retain indefinitely, rather than selling it off to other distributors.

For his part, Bay says he’s “excited” to branch out into television, “especially doing a long-form series for Starz.”

The show will be executive produced by Bay, Robert Levine, and Jon Steinberg. Steinberg, who is also responsible for the dystopian drama Jericho, created Black Sails. Production on the first 8-episode season of Black Sails begins later this year, and is expected to air in 2014.