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Watershed Agreement As Michael Bay Signs With
Starz For Black Sails His First Television Project

Michael Bay Copyright Greg Gorman
The blur between film and television is now indiscernible as increasingly top theatrical talent become part of the landscape of television. Just prior to Cannes, Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht announced the straight-to-series greenlight of Black Sails (working title) from executive producer Michael Bay. "Starz is excited to be working with a visionary like Michael,'" said Albrecht. "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."

Michael Bay, director/producer of such theatrical hits as Transformers and Bad Boys, said: "I'm excited to branch out into television, especially doing a long-form series for STARZ, a network known for supporting cutting edge programming."

Black Sails follows the model of the Spartacus franchise and Magic City, on which Starz will retain all domestic and international rights to the dramatic series, including television, home video, and digital.

Black Sails will be executive produced by Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (producers on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and Nightmare on Elm Street (2009). The series is created by showrunner and executive producer Jon Steinberg (creator Jericho, Human Target) and co-executive producer Robert Levine (Touch).

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, and is expected to air in 2014. The production of Black Sails is set to shoot at Cape Town Studios in Cape Town, South Africa later this year.

About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® brands with approximately 19.6 million and 33.2 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LMCA).

About Michael Bay
After launching his career as an award-winning commercial and music video director, Michael Bay (Director/Producer) rapidly emerged as one of Hollywood's boldest and most bankable feature film directors. Characterized by his aggressive visual style and high-octane action sequences that have become the L.A. native's cinematic signature, the films that Bay has directed and produced via his two production companies have surpassed $5.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

His directing resume includes the films Bad Boys and Bad Boys 2, both starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence; The Rock starring Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery and Ed Harris; Armageddon starring Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Liv Tyler; Pearl Harbor starring Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale; The Island starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou and Sean Bean; as well as the trilogy of Transformers blockbuster movies starring Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro. The latest installment, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, is currently the 4th highest grossing movie of all time.

Bay is presently at work in Miami shooting the dark comedy, Pain and Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub and Ed Harris. Based on actual events, this thriller chronicles the preposterous yet diabolical exploits of three bodybuilders who kidnap a wealthy businessman only to find themselves trapped by their own schemes.

Bay is also the founder and principal partner of Platinum Dunes, a production company originally conceived to give talented commercial and video directors a chance to break into the feature world, as well as being a partner in Digital Domain, a state-of-the-art digital effects house.

About Platinum Dunes
Platinum Dunes was established in 2001 by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller with the goal of creating opportunities for first-time directors to make commercial, high-concept movies on modest budgets for a global audience. Recently, the company has broadened its horizons to include veteran directors and larger-scale projects. They are currently in post-production on Vigilandia for Universal Pictures and in pre-production on Ninja Turtles for Paramount Pictures.

Platinum Dunes' first production was the 2009 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by Marcus Nispel. The movie won the Teen Choice Award for Best Thriller and was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards, and grossed more than $110 million worldwide. The second Platinum Dunes project, the 2005 adaptation of The Amityville Horror, directed by Andrew Douglas, also earned over $110 million worldwide.

Two more films followed: the prequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, directed by Jonathan Liebesman and a re-conceptualization of the 1986 thriller, The Hitcher. It was during this collaboration that Platinum Dunes signed a first-look production deal with Rogue Pictures.

In 2009 Platinum Dunes had two more successful films: The Unborn, which has grossed $78 million worldwide to date and Friday the 13th, which set the record for the biggest horror opening of all time with $40,570,000 million. Most recently, Platinum Dunes produced their highest grossing film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, which made over $118 million worldwide.

 
 
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