Steven Spielberg Developing a Michael Crichton Adaptation!

August 26, 2009
Source: USA Today

Steven Spielberg - Pirate Latitudes

Steven Spielberg might direct another Michael Crichton novel again like he did 16 years ago with Jurassic Park. USA Today reports that Spielberg is developing a film out of a posthumously published novel by the late Michael Crichton called Pirate Latitudes set to hit shelves November (Amazon). In addition to Spielberg coming on-board, screenwriter David Koepp, who adapted Crichton's Jurassic Park and The Lost World, and also wrote Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, and War of the Worlds, is penning the screenplay. "Michael wrote a real page-turner that already seems suited for the big screen," Spielberg said.

Pirate Latitudes is an adventure story set off the coast of Jamaica in 1665. It's described 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." Oh no, yet another pirate movie? "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," said DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider. "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."

Need I bring up Hook, which Spielberg directed 2 years before working with Crichton on Jurassic Park? This is obviously an entirely different story, but I guess I'm excited to see Spielberg get back to the gritty world of pirates again (even if this won't be fantasy). As expected, this will be grounded more in reality in order to differentiate itself from Johnny Depp's Captain Jack. "We would only pursue this if it was wonderful in its own way, and didn't interfere with [the Pirates of the Caribbean] films." Spielberg plans to produce and is considering directing; DreamWorks is waiting for a finished draft before setting a schedule.

This really is great news and I'm happy to see Spielberg continue to show his appreciation for Crichton's work even after his unfortunate death late last year. I'm hoping that Spielberg decides to direct this as soon as he can, as I'd love to see him do this instead of Lincoln or Oldboy. Read more on the story at USA Today.

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  • Fuelbot
    I love that Crichton and Spielberg kept up their relationship. It started with ER, and it's only fitting Speilberg bring his next novel to the screen.
  • Ken
    Another pirate movie????!!!! Hollywood just doesn't know when to stop, and Spielberg should go back to making ORIGINAL movies, not just rip-offs of other peoples' books.
  • Al
    when i saw the headline i was thinking, "did i go back to 1993"
  • Okay, big of a Crichton fan as I was (RIP buddy), I had no clue he'd finished off one last book. That alone is news to me. Being adapted for the big screen, however, is not. Virtually every fiction book in his library has gotten the same treatment, and it's no surprise Spielberg was all over it. Excited to see how this develops.
  • Tunker
    I'm with #4. I thought he only had bits and pieces of the book written at the time of his death.
  • Rorschach90
    This sounds good. I loved Hook, but an actual gritty pirate movie with Spielberg doing it could be a home run. However, i'd much rather have Spielberg do Lincoln. That's been on my radar since it was first announced.
  • 2525
    ohh man thats INTERESTING i love crichton novels
  • Shane
    Ehh. I'd like to see him focus on getting Interstellar going with Jonah Nolan and Kip Thorne.
  • jfk
    Just announced Jurassic Park will be on blu-ray story here
  • Wylles
    Damn...He should really think about Halo 1st, he should know it really is good material, later get on with this pirate flick, just to give more time between this and pirates of the caribbean...
  • beavis4play
    it sounds like another standard "heist" movie except everyone's in pirate costumes. at this point my expectations for this are low. hey #10, halo being "really good material" is a belief shared by "halo" fans. i could care less about it.
  • Allen Reeve
    Hey Ho I love agood pirate move i hope steven speilberg get's this micheal crichton novel off the ground giving it the Yo,HO,Ho factor.
  • Chris
    Stoked for the new book...had no idea it was coming out. Crichton was, by far, my favorite author. If Spielberg likes it, then maybe it could make a good movie. He usually makes some pretty stunning films. Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorites.
  • LV 426
    Arrrrr, yer a fine wench that ye are, would you mind if i fire me cannon through your port'ole!!!
  • Yuna
    #4 & #5, according to Wikipedia, this was NOT his last book, but another "techno-thriller" which is untitled was Crichton's last book (and not complete) which will be released sometime in 2010 (maybe). I wonder who will be completing his last novel?
  • harrison
    im with 4 on this, cant wait to see it but im def getting the book soon as its out
  • Fed Up With Hollywood
    Well, at least it's an original story and not another friggin' remake. For that reason alone I'm glad to hear it!
  • Micah Kilton
    Micah Kilton says awesome
  • moves
    They should make movies of prey or state of fear before another pirate movie even though the news of a new complete novel just made my night
  • Lando
    normally I would fear that idea..but Stevie can pull out some amazing work sometimes and if he goes showing his take on reality like he did in Saving Private Ryan (ahem) he could really make one of the best if not The best Pirate adventure film..yea, I know how that sounds..but think about it.
  • Alright. Enough already. This is the 6th article I've read on Spielberg making the Pirate Latitudes movie that describes it 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." That's not even remotely correct. If it's describing the screenplay adaption of the book, I won't even bother to go see it. Have these reporters even bothered to read the book? Are they all copying from one another? Koepp, Spielberg, if you're listening, make this movie true to the book.
  • SlashBeast
    #2 - Ken Yeah, he should make more original movies like his classics Jaws, The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park. Oh, wait, those were all based on novels... #11 - beavis4play Nobody cares about your expectations.




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