(l-r Tom Hopper, Toby Stephens, Mark Ryan, Luke Arnold)
(l-r Tom Hopper, Toby Stephens, Mark Ryan, Luke Arnold)
Amazon has bought exclusive rights to the Michael Bay-backed pirate drama Black Sails for its Prime Instant Video service – formerly LoveFilm.

The series, produced for US network STARZ, is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and will be available for all Prime Instant Video users from April 4th.

Executive produced by Bay (“Transformers”, “Pearl Harbor”, “Armageddon”), Black Sails is set 20 years prior to Stevenson’s novel and follows Captain Flint and his men as they fight for the survival in the Bahamas in a ruthless dog-eat-dog world of marauders and criminals.

Starring Toby Stephens (“Die Another Day”, “The Machine”), Jessica Parker Kennedy (“90210”), Tom Hopper (“Merlin,” “Doctor Who”), Zach McGowan (“Shameless”), and Clara Paget (“One Day”, “Johnny English Reborn”), Black Sails delves into the darkest side of pirate life, rooting itself in murder, theft and lawlessness.

“We’ve seen the sanitised version of pirates in films and TV shows many times before, and this is a more realistic, dangerous and sexy take on the pirate life,” said Jason Ropell, Head of Amazon Instant Video International Content Acquisition.

“What makes the show so fascinating is that it’s actually based on real pirates, much like “Vikings” is based on actual Norsemen.

“The epic drama allows viewers a snapshot of an infamous and traditionally feared culture. It’s already an incredibly popular show in the US, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer our UK members such an exciting viewing experience.”