After the success of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise I am surprised that nobody else has tried to make their own pirate adventure. The Lord of the Rings trilogy spawned more fantasy movies, superhero movies spawned even more superhero movies, but Pirates of the Caribbean seems to have taken up the whole pirate genre for itself. Until now that is. According to USA Today Steven Spielberg is developing a film based on the novel Pirate Latitudes by the late Michael Crichton.
The men who brought dinosaurs back to life in Jurassic Park are teaming up again, though it’s a bittersweet reunion since one of them is no longer here. Spielberg plans to produce and is considering directing. Screenwriter David Koepp, who adapted Crichton’s novels for Jurassic Park and its sequel The Lost World, also has signed on to create the script. DreamWorks Studios describes the novel, set for release Nov. 24, as the story of “a daring plan to infiltrate Port Royal, one of the world’s richest and most notorious cities, and raid a Spanish galleon filled with treasure.”
“It’s a mission movie, and we see it through the prism of what it might have been like to live on the island during that time,” says Stacey Snider, Spielberg’s partner in DreamWorks and the company’s co-chair and CEO.
“Anything that Michael wrote, Steven would be keenly interested to read. But without Michael knowing it, or even me knowing it, it turns out Steven always wanted to direct his own pirate film.”
Coincidentally, DreamWorks is beginning a new distribution deal with The Walt Disney Co., which rejuvenated this genre with Johnny Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean films, another of which is planned for 2011. Snider says these swashbuckling movies won’t clash because Pirate Latitudes will be more grounded in reality, as opposed to the supernatural fantasy of the Disney films. “We would only pursue this if it was wonderful in its own way, and didn’t interfere with their films,” she says.
The Pirates of the Caribbean films are fun, enjoyable rides, however I’ve always wondered what a pirate movie would be like if it took a more serious route, and this may be what I’ve been waiting for. From the looks of things the film will take a few years before it gets wind in it’s sails, but I will be following it with interest.