Starz Entertainment says production has begun in Cape Town, South Africa on the new original series "Black Sails" from executive producer Michael Bay.

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Neil Marshall is directing the first episode of the eight-installment pirate series, which will debut in 2014, the cable network said Saturday.

Co-starring Luke Arnold, Zach McGowan, Hannah New and Toby Stephens, the show will take place 20 years prior to the events in Robert Louis Stevenson's classic mid-18th century-set novel, "Treasure Island."