Steven Spielberg Developing a Michael Crichton Adaptation!
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.