Steven Spielberg Developing Michael Crichton’s Pirates Story

USA Today is reporting Steven Spielberg will develop a film based on Michael Crichton’s Pirate Latitudes novel which will be posthumously published on November 24.

The story is set in 1665 off the coast of Jamaica where a team plans to infiltrate heavily guarded Port Royal and pilfer a Spanish galleon filled with treasures. “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,” says Stacey Snider, Spielberg’s partner at DreamWorks.

Spielberg is on board as a producer and is mulling over whether he intends to direct. Scribe David Koepp is also signed to pen the script having already worked with Steven and Crichton on Jurassic Park and The Lost World.

As USA Today points out, DreamWorks has recently moved its distribution through Disney who happens to have a successful Pirates franchise in Pirates of the Caribbean. Where those films rely on the supernatural, Pirate Latitudes is strictly grounded in reality.

“Michael wrote a real page-turner that already seems suited for the big screen,” Spielberg said about the upcoming film and book. “Michael and I have had almost two decades of solid collaborations. Whenever I made a film from a Michael Crichton book or screenplay, I knew I was in good hands. Michael felt the same, and we like to think he still does.”

Pirate Latitudes could be a great opportunity for Spielberg to focus his energy on story first and effects wizardry designed for mass appeal second. We should more about how the story is structured and who its target demographic is in just a few months.

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