It’s been almost a year since renowned author Michael Crichton passed away. In that time frame, his family discovered the completed, but never published 300+ page book called Pirate Latitudes. Before the book is even released on November 24, 2009, it’s naturally already being developed into a movie, and who better to develop the work of Crichton than a one Steven Spielberg and writer David Koepp.
Spielberg and Crichton worked together on multiple projects, such as creating E.R. and the movie Twister. Of the work they did together, nothing stands out more than the Crichton book that Koepp adapted to script form and Spielberg directed that went on to change movies forever: Jurassic Park. Fittingly enough, as it turns out, Mr. Spielberg had always wanted to do a pirate movie, and now there’s one here looking at him.
At this moment, Spielberg is only developing and producing the project, but there is the chance that he’ll direct it, as well. Considering the material, the fallen friend, the story behind it all, it doesn’t sound like something he might direct…it sounds like a project that he simply HAS to direct. Only time will tell for sure.
Here’s what Spielberg had to say:
Michael wrote a real page-turner that already seems suited for the big screen. Michael and I have had almost two decades of solid collaborations. Whenever I made a film from a Michael Crichton book or screenplay, I knew I was in good hands. Michael felt the same, and we like to think he still does.
One of the concerns with all of this is that Spielberg’s DreamWorks is entering into a partnership with the juggernaut Pirates of the Caribbean franchise owner The Walt Disney Company. This feared inside feud was instantly shot down with explanation that this will be more of a realistic look at the world of pirates — likely more along the lines of Captain Blood, which is heading to outer space for its remake.
Here’s the book’s official synopsis:
The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Devoid of London’s luxuries, Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses. In this steamy climate, life can end swiftly by dysentery — or dagger. But for a daring soul like Captain Edward Hunter, this wild outpost in the New World can also lead to great fortune, if he abides by the island’s code. In the name of His Majesty King Charles II of England, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.
Word in port is that the Spanish galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is awaiting repairs in nearby Matanceros. Heavily fortified, the impregnable Spanish harbor is guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, a favorite commander of King Philip IV. With the Jamaican governor’s backing, Hunter assembles a crew of ruffians to infiltrate the enemy island and commandeer the galleon and its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloodiest tales of Matanceros legend, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he makes it onto the island’s shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry stand between him and the treasure.
With the help of his cunning band, Hunter hijacks El Trinidad and escapes the deadly clutches of Cazalla, leaving plenty of carnage in his wake. But the danger — and adventure — are only just beginning. . .
[Source: USA Today]