Phillip Noyce Remaking 1936 Pirate Flick Captain Blood

December 3, 2008

Captain Blood

Pirates are still in! Warner Brothers is remaking the 1935 swashbuckling pirate film Captain Blood that starred Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and Basil Rathbone. Phillip Noyce, of Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and Catch a Fire, is set to direct and John Brownlow, of Sylvia and quite a few in-development projects, will write the screenplay. The original film, set in the 1600s, told the the story of a doctor who was convicted of treason and sold into slavery before he escaped to the high seas as a pirate. Obviously Warner Brothers is taking a cue from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise…

I've never seen Captain Blood (do you know anyone that has?), but the tagline for it says that it's "the most magnificent and thrilling sea adventure ever filmed." I damn well hope so! I am, however, quite concerned about Phillip Noyce. I didn't even think he could still direct? He's been laying low ever since Catch a Fire, but has quite a few other projects lined up, including Above Suspicion and Edwin A. Salt. I really didn't even know Noyce could still direct action like this? Or are we destined to see a mellower, more dramatic pirate movie this time around? I'll be very curious to see how this turns out in the end, that's for sure.

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Captain Blood of old is a par for the course movie for Errol Flynn. The movie was made in the swordplay. For those not familiar with Basil Rathbone he was somewhat of an expert fencer. He taught Errol how to duel for real and instead of choreographing every scene they laid out general guidelines and then improvised portions so that the action was very realistic. Captain Blood is basically swordplay with a story wrapped around it. The lines and story are very classic 1935 which is to say....they sound somewhat corny now. You would basically need to rewrite this entire flick (at least in dialog) to make it harvestable. You would also need tremendous action and an actor that could pull off the swordplay or we may all be subject to the horrible up-close-can't-see-anything action of so many movies these days. But lets remember...this is another pirate flick....which means we will compare it to other recent not-to-be-named pirate flicks. But honestly the closest thing we have to Errol Flynn these days is Orlando Bloom, which depending on your opinion might be horrible or fantastic. However we don't have a Basil Rathbone. But there have been some sword swinging in the aforementioned pirate I would assume there is a choreographer out there worth her/his salt. Someone should find out if those women from the Olympic fencing team can act or teach..... The other issue is sweeping epic.....and huge amounts of extras....we don't do this as well as they did in the old days....perhaps some CGI folks can make waves of pirates and brigands. Did someone say orcs alla LOTR? I may have just planned out the movie...not sure.

Dan on Dec 3, 2008


Great idea,took a while considering how much money the Pirates trilogy made{a billion plus},the original is a classic directed by Micheal Curtiz who also made Casablanca and Robin hood.An enjoyable film if your biased towards colour movies.Dan comparing Errol Flynn to Orlando bloom is just way off.Flynn was the Arnold shwarzennegar{spelling off} of his day,all action,extremely charismatic and kinetic in action scenes,hardly a description of Bloom,although he looks kind of like him.Bloom,while not terrible,is not great either,but way too laid back and effiminate to be a worthy of a comparison.

leo on Dec 3, 2008


Alex, I've seen it. Many times. Most of the people I know have seen it. Anyone who claims to appreciate cinema should have seen this movie. It's an action classic. Personally I like Robin Hood more, but Captain Blood is pretty great. And why the Phillip Noyce hate? Is that he's not Zack Snyder? Or Michael Bay? Or Gore Verbinski? Catch a Fire was a good movie. Quiet American and Rabbit Proof Fence were excellent movies. Those films are only a few years old... Furthermore, what indication is there that Phil Noyce can't direct "action like this." When you say action like this, what exactly do you mean? If you mean action with a story than yes, I think Phillip Noyce would be very capable. If you want garbage like the Pirates of the Caribbean series, than maybe you should look somewhere else. Perish the thought that you actually get behind a movie that has potential to be good, made a by a real director, rather than rah rah-ing a bunch of by the books, made for teens garbage.

Nick on Dec 3, 2008


Heeey youuuuuu guuuuyyysss!!!

Knight Rider on Dec 3, 2008


Never seen the movie, but I read the novel that inspired the film. The novel, by Rafael Sabatini, is outstanding.

Travis on Dec 3, 2008


I've never heard of it, but they're probably remaking it because not a lot of people watch silent movies anymore, so no one will know it's a remake.

Valeriewriter on Dec 3, 2008


I prefer Robin Hood by a mile, but this is pretty good too. Errol Flynn classic. I am actually excited about this film. Wonder who they'll cast. Better have the same amazing sword sequences as the original because if that's not the case, don't even bother.

Hyacinth on Dec 3, 2008


6: Are you ignorant?! Not only was this in sound but it was also in color. And as for remaking it because no one knows about it *shudder* A lot of people have seen this. It's a cherished classic film for any Errol Flynn/Pirate fan. Rant mode. Sorry for being a bitch.

Hyacinth on Dec 3, 2008


Captain Blood is an enjoyable film but not sure that the story is worthy of a remake - the film was much more about the stars and the action sequences. I would certainly want to see a remake, but think that many people will be unaware of the original.

Raoul Tiger on Dec 4, 2008


But... they already *did* remake this, near enough. You take the original, replace Flynn with Bloom, take out the reference to slavery because it's embarassing, add in a bit of magic and such to keep the modern audience interested... and call it Pirates of the Carribbean. I loved Captain Blood, personally, but Hyacinth if you have a colour version I'd love to know where you got it, cause my copy is definitely B&W...

Random on Dec 4, 2008


One very good reason for a remake of "Captain Blood" is for Mary Elizabeth Winstead to play the Olivia de Havilland part. She is a dead ringer for a young Ms. de Havilland. This would be a perfect vehicle for her, in fact she may be one of the reasons this movie is being remade.

Louispz on Dec 4, 2008


Your not a bitch Hyacinth, your passion for the film and Flynn is apparant. Thank you for stating what alot of us feel and that we love that film and Flynn's work in ALL of his brilliant time in front of the camera. I have a b and w copy as well. The story however would not work in this the 21st Century. I fear we will get a Captain Blood in name only.

Tim "Cloverfield" on Dec 4, 2008


Thanks Tim. And for my part: an erratum. Captain Blood was in B/W. Robin Hood was the one in color XD Whoops. As for interesting casting choices, I don't know why, but Jude Law is stuck to mind. Perhaps it was his role in The Aviator as Flynn 🙂

Hyacinth on Dec 4, 2008


Firstly, I don't think the first Pirates of the Caribbean film was trash at all. The next two were arguably crappy, but the first was groundbreaking in many ways. Secondly, what's with all this talk of Captain Blood not working as a story? I think a faithful adaptation of the excellent novel by Rafael Sabatini would completely wow audiences. It's about time we had a pirate movie based in some kind of history, which this story is. It showcases the brutality of slavery in the 17th century, the senseless acts of inhumanity committed by monarchies of the period, and sets against these formidable opponents a hero of true moral integrity, who nonetheless comes off convincing, and not at all "supernatural" in his goodness. It also questions our views on morality and the law, and makes us think about what is really right and wrong by setting up an outlaw pirate as the protagonist (which has been done before, but rarely better). Of course, as mentioned above, the swordplay is a huge part of it. The original (I should say the Errol Flynn version, because there was a silent film version before it, but it's lesser known) inspired nearly all swashbuckler movies since, and there's really no beating the combination of Flynn and Rathbone. No other two actors will ever really fill their shoes. Still, I'm sure there will be some excellent fight sequences. These days that's almost a matter of course in cinema. Overall though, I think we can expect a much different film than the original. They'll certainly update the dialogue, and add a lot of modern Hollywood special effects wizardry. All I hope is that they stay somewhat true to the book, as the old one did. If not, it will probably be a disaster. But if so, we may just get the best pirate film ever made. I'm reeeeaaaaaally hoping for the latter.

A Pirate on Dec 6, 2008


Sorry Hyacinth (on Dec 3, 2008), but Captain Blood was in glorious black & white, as they print on the dvd packaging. The first Big budget major motion picture in color in the history of cinema is "The Adventures of Robin Hood," in 1938; also with the same team Errol Flynn, Olivia de Haviland, and director Michael Curtiz (you must have been mistaken because of that). It was the First major motion picture wide released in full spectrum color as we know it today. Now regarding Alex Billington writing: "I've never seen Captain Blood (do you know anyone that has?)..." WHAT AN ASS!!!!!! what a brillant movie critic!!!! Do you have one inch of culture in your brain??? How can you review movies if you don't know your subjets!!!! I guess you discovered "The Day The Earth Stood Still" a few days ago too!!! LOL (it shows on your review). No wonder why you can be able to write positive things about insipide movies such as Quantom of Solace!! Not knowing the movies that made the movie history of your country, and are part of the world heritage, shame on you Alex!!!

Sylvain (from Paris) on Dec 9, 2008


I am in the process of building full-sized copies of ships of the period represented in Captain Blood, something I have done before (for example, I built the 24-gun frigate ROSE that starred with Russell Crowe in "Master & Commander"). How do I get in touch with Philip Noyce, proposed Director, and John Brownlow, proposed Scriptwriter?

John Millar on Dec 15, 2008


Hi to all! And for you Mr Miller, if you really interested to be the production designer for the upcoming Captain Blood, you better consolidate with Mr Noyce managers at Down under, so this flick is an Aussie- British., it's not an American. I wish you luck sir, but you better build Galleons for the Movie not Frigates, like was in the Errol's version, they were 3 miniature ships on that movie, but they were Galleons, all the interior of the ships were shot on stages to represent the ship battles. I suggest you better pull you sleaves high up and get yourself into the designing, you better build proper galleons with 3 musts, this movies need to outdo Pirates of the Caribbean crap? We need to see a proper Pirate swashbuckler and Captain Blood is the template? I would like to see proper ships battling their crap off ,similar to Cutthroat Island, that movie just needed a much more sophisticated story telling, I didn't mind a female lead roll, because it those days were women pirates, commanding vast ships and could it earn the Box office, the ship battles on Cutthroat were 10 times better then Pirates. On first pirates the battle was rushed badly, the canon firing kitchen stuff was crap, and I didn’t see any pirate’s duals on the ships! The second Pirates were the worst of all, and the third Pirates went overboard with the duals and battles. So you all consider what we disliked about the previous Pirates movies and what we need to improve in Captain Blood in order to smash the box office?

Chris on Dec 25, 2008


Captain Blood was an excellent film. Dialogue dated? Do your homework. The dialogue was, in most places, lifted right out of Rafael Sabatini's novel, and reflected the slang of the age. The extended (119 min) version is better. Much of the humour was lost on the cutting room floor when they chopped it to 90 minutes, thinking theatre audiences wouldn't want to sit through a longer pirate flick. The theatre release left out Honesty Nuttall's attempts to shoot off his own toe. (He was always trying to avoid work and hoping to get a bigger share.) Best of luck to the Aussies and Brits. If they put as much effort into this as they did "Nate and Hayes", it should be highly watchable.

David on Feb 2, 2009


The public needs to have a Sabatini story to remind them of chivalry and honor. "Captain Blood" is a wonderful story and will serve humanity.

Dollie Smith on Feb 17, 2009


Remaking Captain Blood would be like trying to clone God. But best of luck to 'em. Alex Billington however should stick to writing reviews on purile movies like Zoolander instead of preaching about subjects on which he knows nothing. I'm 35 years old, and I'm a lover of movies of all genres and AGES and I've seen the 1935 Captain Blood probably over 100 times in the last 25 years. I love it. I often watch these old movies and think about how great they would be with a $150 budget and CGI effects and who would be cast in them. I think that the perfect modern day Peter Blood would be Daniel Day Lewis. Three films that I hope they will one day remake are Scaramouche, (another great Sabatini yarn), The Prisoner Of Zenda, (loved both the Ronald Coleman and Stewart Granger versions), and Beau Geste, (Gary Cooper's version's the best). I think that these films could not find an appreciative audience by giving them a 21st century facelift, but would trigger the release of the classic version's on DVD. In short I want to see Hollywood spend $150 million on new versions, so I can spend £10 on a DVD of the classic.

Marty on Jun 19, 2009


fellass Holywood has gone insane these days , they will ruen the best pirate classic captain Blood with some story change and the seting will be into Space. Just to let you know all of you i have any input to tell warners to stop this nonsence. Or to the producers. they also shelved Aussie Director Phillip noyce for 2 young un=expierince directors. Hollywood is geting shitous now days they not only remaking the old favourate slassic they reinvent them and chnage their consept and setings. You al have to do somthing to stop them. There is way to go but if enough input might change something if made as a pettiion to warners.

Chris on Aug 2, 2009


my misatek i don't have input, the qustion was if any off you here can make an input or have contact with studios executives. Honestly if they are realy seting captain Blood into Space, My favourate pirate swashbuckelr would be Cutthroat island, and folks be prepeared to be blow out of the water againis in 1066 high defenition on Blu ray on 8 of Augast.

Chris on Aug 2, 2009


There was a colorised version of Captain Blood. It was screened on TV in Australia some years ago and I was lucky enough to capture it on VHS. The colouring is not great but it does add another perspective to the B&W version. I prefer the coloured version and would love to get it on DVD. So if anyone knows where I can pick up a colorised version of it please let me know.

Ralph on Oct 6, 2009

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