The third season of Black Sails is gearing up to be the most galvanic of the Michael Bay-produced swashbuckling series to date. With Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) alongside his crew mates on the Walrus, you’d think that Starz’s action-drama, a kind of prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson‘s famed Treasure Island, couldn’t get any wilder, but you’d be wrong. Starz has released the first image of the near-mythical Blackbeard, who will become a major character in the series’ third season. Even more exciting is the fact that Blackbeard will be played by Ray Stevenson, a hugely underrated performer who added some much-needed complexity and emotional weight to the otherwise tedious seventh season of Showtime’s Dexter. The Irish-born actor also starred in HBO’s Rome, and has memorable supporting turns in both the Thor and Divergent franchises.
It’s unclear what kind of character Stevenson’s Blackbeard will turn out to be, but he’s poised to be a major part of Black Sails Season 3. Contrary to popular belief, the real Blackbeard was not considered a distinctly violent man at all, but rather a totally imposing figure who often only had to threaten captains and their crews to get them to hand over control of their ships. Regardless, Stevenson’s inclusion amps up the anticipation for Black Sails Season 3 considerably, which will make the wait for the season’s planned early 2016 bow all the more unendurable. Meanwhile, Stevenson can be currently seen in Insurgent, alongside Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, and will appear in the latest installment of the Transporter franchise later this year.