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'Black Sails': Jon Steinberg previews his new Starz series

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"Black Sails" premieres this weekend on Starz, and on Monday, Jan. 20, we uploaded a video interview with executive producer Jon Steinberg previewing what to expect.

"Black Sails" took "a really long time" for Steinberg to put together, and he felt "this was a story that hadn't been told in a really long time." However, just because this is a series about pirates, don't expect to see any of the clichés, because while some may come back in, they're trying to strip it all down.

In fact, the EP is hoping they stay away from "all of them, religiously." "We really wanted to root the audience in a feeling of, "This is reality. This is a reality that is – it's a story about people who wake up in the morning and realize they have to go fight a whole bunch of people to make money that they're going to need to live, that it's work,"" he explained. "That's a version of this I've never seen before. In order to do that, I think you have to strip it all away."

While some may focus on the violence of pirates, Steinberg found that it's not about the violence. "The story had always been told or always seems that these guys are, that they're bloodthirsty, that the violence is the attraction to it, and when you start to think about it, the violence is actually exactly what they don't want," he said. "If they want the stuff, then what they want is to make you afraid of the violence so that you will give up your stuff without having to fight and damage it."

As for the overall framework of the series, Steinberg said he hoped it feels "real" even though it won't match up to the "textbook" of what happened. "It is very loosely structured as a prequel to Treasure Island," he said. "So there is a Treasure Island mythology that runs through it in Captain Flint, in John Silver, in Billy Bones and other characters that are coming down the road."

"At the same time it is taking place in a historically true, real place in Nassau, where England left, where there was no flag, there was no law, and these people had to figure out how to make it work on their own. So there are historical characters who are part of it," he added. "The glue, or the third piece that's keeping it all together, are characters that we've put together out of composites of other people."

Check out the video interview above (or here) for more from Jon Steinberg about his new series, which has already been renewed for a second season.

"Black Sails" airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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