New Official ‘Black Sails’ Trailer: Pirates of the New World

Published 2 years ago by

With the final incarnation of Starz’s hit series Spartacus having ended earlier in 2013, the premium cable network appears to be attempting to draw in some of their rival HBO’s Game of Thrones audience with their swashbuckling pirate series, Black Sailspresented as a prequel to the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island.

The show’s first trailer promised loads of pirate-y action and adventure, not to mention an array of sexuality perhaps designed to cater to the GoT crowd, who have become accustomed to the frequently bare bodies of Westeros. We now have a second trailer, which is shorter than the first, yet still provides some new footage. You can watch it above.

The new trailer is once again short on overall plot specifics, but here is the show’s official synopsis:

“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. Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) stars as 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.”

Black Sails Bloody Capt Flint New Official Black Sails Trailer: Pirates of the New World

One interesting feature of the new trailer is how it slightly softens the first trailer’s semi-deviant overtones. This second trailer makes Black Sails feel much more like a high-seas drama than the lurid, hyper-violent and sexual pirate story we’re likely to end up with.

The real question is whether or not audiences will take to such a “gritty” rendering of a genre known primarily at this point for the live-action cartoon antics of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Also, in the long tradition of Hollywood synchronicity, Black Sails will have direct competition in the form of NBC’s own pirate series, Crossbones, starring John Malkovich as the infamous Edward Teach (AKA Blackbeard, previously played by Deadwood‘s Ian McShane in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).

Still, Black Sails has plenty of potential aces up its sleeve. Not least is the presence of director Neil Marshall (The Descent), who helmed the pilot and who directed the “Blackwater” episode of Game of Thrones - which is still considered one of that show’s finest hours. Shows like this need to start off with a bang, and Marshall’s action chops and considerable experience – especially with the sea-faring aspects of the Battle of Blackwater Bay – definitely hold promise for a strong debut impression.

Black Sails Poster New Official Black Sails Trailer: Pirates of the New World

Even more interesting is how much the initial plot actually does have in common with Treasure Island – which is where all our essential modern pirates tropes originated. Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) was an infamous pirate in that book, and a map to his lost treasure is what draws young Jim Hawkins into conflict – and eventually into cahoots – with the fearsome Long John Silver (played by Aussie Luke Arnold as a young man). A show tracking the events leading up to one of the most celebrated novels of all time is sure to attract a cross-section of viewers – at least in the beginning. We’ll see if the show maintains what is sure to be a strong pilot.


Black Sails will debut on Starz in 2014.

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. Yeah, this is going on my “Must Watch” list. Looks fantastic.

  2. It looks a lot like Pirates…if you know what I mean :)

  3. well michael bay’s name is on the trailer, how come nobody is talking s***?
    come on haters! talk s***

    • Because this show looks good?

      Honestly, I don;t like a lot of Michael Bay movies or movies/shows his studio has had a hand in creating but if it looks good, I’ll watch and this is the only thing Bay-related since 1998 that I’ve thought looks good judging by the trailer.

      Maybe if American audiences would actually watch trailers and decide whether to watch a movie or not based on 2 minutes of clips, they wouldn’t complain that Bay makes millions from terrible movies that they themselves paid money to see without looking at a trailer first.

      Then you’d have less complaints and hate thrown onto the guy.

  4. Hold it now, let’s not make it all sexed up…this isn’t the Playboy Channel, or “Yo-Ho-Ho and a bottom ‘n’ bum!”. I am turning this on mainly to see a pirate action series. Having said that, however, I will say it is definitely on my check-it-out list, along with Crossbones. Both Black Sails and Crossbones sound definitely worth a watch. I have always enjoyed stuff like Robert Louis Stevenson, Howard Pyle, and Raphael Sabatini, and other piratey-type writings.

    • Similar to my thoughts. “Black Sails” sounds like a great title for a pirate show that is primarily ship-plot-based. I am really not much interested in Debauchery Island, as that is not the powerful part of the pirate mythos. But this looks like it’s worth at least checking out, especially as it relates to Treasure Island.

  5. yes… but will there be any butt pirates in this? if not i’m not tuning in.

  6. Rupert PENRY-JONES…nuff said!