SAN DIEGO — "Black Sails" cast out into the open waters of Comic-Con.

Starz isn't premiering the mature pirate drama until next year, but the first episode was screened for hundreds of fans – some dressed in pirate regalia – at a movie theater Thursday night during the pop-culture convention.

"Black Sails" cast members Zach McGowan, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Mark Ryan and Hakeem Kae-Kazim were on hand for the preview, which marked the first time for them to see the inaugural installment, too.

"I thought it sucked," joked McGowan, who plays ruthless Captain Vane. "No, it was awesome. It was really great to see it with everyone for the first time."

Before the screening at San Diego's Reading Cinemas, composer Bear McCreary and a band performed musical selections from the series.

With sweeping cinematography and gritty violence, the first episode centered on Toby Stephen's beleaguered Captain Flint as he sought to maintain control of his ship, the Walrus, and seek out a Spanish treasure fleet.

"Black Sails" creators Jon Steinberg and Robert Levine said they want their take on the pirate genre to be as realistic as possible. This is not "The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Show."

"The hope was to suck the truth out of everything we know that happened and turn it into something that felt real," said Steinberg. "What became clear to us very quickly is a pirate ship is the exact opposite of what you think it is. It's a mob. There's no adventure to being a guy who has to figure out how to corral a mob."

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AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang is tweeting from Comic-Con. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang

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Online:

http://www.starz.com/originals/blacksails

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