When you think of classic pirate films, right at the top of the list is Captain Blood, which was released right after Christmas Day 1935 and captured the imagination of America. The film was nominated for five Oscars, including best picture and best director for Michael Curtiz (who would later win the trophy for “Casablanca“), and it made a star of first-time leading man Errol Flynn.
It’s a bit risky tampering with such esteemed Hollywood history, but that’s just what’s happening with talk of a remake.
Oh, and it’s going to be set in outer space.
It sounds like a live-action version of the Disney film “Treasure Planet” — which actually could be promising if it was executed with flair. If not? Well, then you’re looking at a 21st-century revisting of the 1984 disaster “The Ice Pirates,” which gave us Robert Urich as a discount version of Han Solo in a painful comedy that Anjelica Huston and Ron Perlman would like to forget.
Look below to find the trailer for three very different pirate films. Where would this new one fit in?
My colleague Patrick Goldstein has more info on the “Captain Blood” venture at his blog The Big Picture. Here’s a quick excerpt from Goldstein’s piece, which is longer and well worth checking out…
It’s no joke, even though producer Bill Gerber admits that when he first heard filmmakers Michael and Peter Spierig (“Undead“) tout the project he thought he’d been transported to the scene in “The Player” where Buck Henry pitches an equally outlandish sequel to “The Graduate.” The studio has hired screenwriter John Brownlow to work with the Spierig brothers on an updated story, where the pirates will presumably look more like Starfleet troopers than bearded ruffians.
When I called Gerber, he was matter-of-fact about the changes. “When it comes to swashbuckling, you just couldn’t go back to the pirate era, not once you’ve experienced the juggernaut that is ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ” he explains. “So we needed to find a new way to tell the story.”
For Gerber, the best option was not a present-day story involving the Somali pirates — who are probably too vile and desperate to base an entertainment around — but a story set a couple of hundred years in the future. “It’s still the classic ‘Captain Blood’ storyline: Peter Blood has been wronged by the powers-that-be and he wants to get even. But the best way to recreate that is by putting it in space, where you can have a totalitarian style of government that’s actually pretty similar to what England was like in the 17th century…”
— Geoff Boucher
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