Steven Spielberg looks set to sail for the land of movie piracy with a buccaneer adventure based on the work of the late Michael Crichton. The director’s DreamWorks studio this week snapped up the rights for Pirate Latitudes, an unfinished novel by the best-selling author, who died last year.
Pirate Latitudes plays out around Jamaica in 1665 and charts the attempt to rob a Spanish galleon docked at the town of Port Royal. The screen version will be scripted by David Koep, writer of War of the Worlds and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Koep and Spielberg have collaborated on two previous Crichton adaptations: Jurassic Park and its sequel, The Lost World.
“Anything that Michael wrote, Steven would be keenly interested to read,” DreamWorks partner Stacey Snider told USA Today. “But without Michael even knowing it, or even me knowing it, it turns out that Steven always wanted to direct his own pirate film.”
Crichton was reportedly writing Pirate Latitudes at the time of his death and the book will be published by Harper Collins in November. “Michael wrote a real page-turner that already seems suited for the big screen,” said Spielberg. “Michael and I had almost two decades of solid collaborations. Whenever I made a film from a Crichton book or screenplay, I knew I was in good hands. Michael felt the same, and we like to think he still does.”