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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Reader Feedback - 22 Comments


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.

Fuelbot on Aug 26, 2009


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.

Ken on Aug 26, 2009


when i saw the headline i was thinking, "did i go back to 1993"

Al on Aug 26, 2009


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.

Devon Shaw on Aug 26, 2009


I'm with #4. I thought he only had bits and pieces of the book written at the time of his death.

Tunker on Aug 26, 2009


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.

Rorschach90 on Aug 26, 2009


ohh man thats INTERESTING i love crichton novels

2525 on Aug 26, 2009


Ehh. I'd like to see him focus on getting Interstellar going with Jonah Nolan and Kip Thorne.

Shane on Aug 26, 2009


Just announced Jurassic Park will be on blu-ray story here

jfk on Aug 26, 2009


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...

Wylles on Aug 26, 2009


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.

beavis4play on Aug 27, 2009


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.

Allen Reeve on Aug 27, 2009


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.

Chris on Aug 27, 2009


Arrrrr, yer a fine wench that ye are, would you mind if i fire me cannon through your port'ole!!!

LV 426 on Aug 27, 2009


#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?

Yuna on Aug 27, 2009


im with 4 on this, cant wait to see it but im def getting the book soon as its out

harrison on Aug 27, 2009


Well, at least it's an original story and not another friggin' remake. For that reason alone I'm glad to hear it!

Fed Up With Hollywood on Aug 27, 2009


Micah Kilton says awesome

Micah Kilton on Aug 27, 2009


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

moves on Aug 27, 2009


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.

Lando on Aug 28, 2009


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.

Rick on Feb 4, 2010


#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.

SlashBeast on Apr 20, 2010

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