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After Taking on Classic Detectives, Guy Ritchie Will Try His Hand at Treasure Island’s Pirates

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After the most recent installment of Pirates of the Caribbean underwhelmed, could Guy Ritchie be the one to make pirates awesome again? News is out that he’s set to direct an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson‘s classic swashbuckling novel Treasure Island. He’ll produce with partner Lionel Wigram, with whom he teamed for Sherlock Holmes and its recent sequel. Hmm, let’s see: these guys take a classic novel, add in kickass action sequences that feel modern but make total sense in a period movie, and then find a supremely charming star to take the lead. This has clearly worked once. And now — pirates. Yeah, I think it’s fair to be more than cautiously optimistic about this one.

Treasure Island is a bit different from Sherlock Holmes in the sense that the “charming star” in the leading role will have to be a bit younger. The book is (mostly) narrated by Jim Hawkins, the son of a couple who own the Admiral Benbow Inn, which takes in its share of colorful characters, including the one-legged seaman Billy Bones, who receives the pirate summons that sets the story in motion (before he drops dead of a stroke). Before it was published as a book in 1883, it appeared as a series in the children’s magazine Young Folks from 1881 to 1882. A great deal of traditional pirate symbolism comes from Treasure Island, like “X marks the spot” on treasure maps and pirates with peg-legs and parrots as shoulder-mates. But is also featured a commentary on, according to Wikipedia, the “ambiguity of morality,” which was not a common thing for kids to read about, since they’re generally taught that the activities in which pirates engage are bad and not cool.

I’m just going to come out and say it: I am psyched at the prospect of Guy Ritchie taking on pirates. Not just because it’s pirates, but because Ritchie is really good at taking stories that take place during a certain period of British history and turning it into an edgy, action-packed party of a movie. Sherlock Holmes wasn’t just about a super cool detective and his equally smooth partner, Dr. Watson. It was a love letter to England in the time Sherlock takes place. And Treasure Island is an even bigger scale for Ritchie to tackle, with allusions to real-life pirates and historical events. That is super fun. Screen Rant also points out that frequent Ritchie collaborator Jason Statham (Revolver, Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) could possibly show up in this movie, which means that Jason Statham might play a pirate, you guys.

The Treasure Island screenplay will be written by Alex Harakis. Ritchie and Wigram have also signed on to produce an adaption of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (which Ritchie might also direct). No word yet on casting or release dates.

(via Collider, Screen Rant)

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