I’m going to throw out the name of a movie that most of our readers have never heard of, much less seen – Captain Blood. It isn’t some indie flick or a PETA documentary on the killing of whales. No, the reason you probably haven’t heard of it is because unless you were a teenager in the 1930’s (which would put you in the late 80’s or early 90’s age range), went to film school or just really love old black and white movies, in all likelihood you’ve never come across the Warner Bros. classic film.
It looks like all that might change soon though as Warner Bros. studios have chosen brothers Michael and Peter Spierig to direct a remake of Captain Blood based on a John Brownlow script. After producer Bill Gerber (Gran Torino) and Warner Bros hired Brownlow to do a first draft of Captain Blood, they started interviewing directors to bring his script to life. What won the job for the Spierig brothers was their bold idea to move the entire story into space.
Read through to the end for a special treat!
Gerber said this of the meeting where the idea was pitched to him:
“At first, I felt like I was in that scene in ‘The Player,’ where Buck Henry pitches the sequel to ‘The Graduate’; but when I took a look at their animatic depiction of a pirate battle in space, it had such a distinctive visual look to it that I said, ‘Great, I get it.'”
At this point the only movie I’ve seen from the Spierig brothers is the ridiculously cool 2003 film, Undead. They also have a vampire action flick hitting theaters January 2010 called Daybreakers which looks to be quite interesting. I’m having good feelings about this particular remake. I’m not familiar with John Lobrown’s work as a writer but Gerber says the script is a faithful adaptation regardless of the obvious time shift and setting.
The original Captain Blood was a pirate movie in the classic high seas swashbuckling adventure genre. It followed a British doctor (Errol Flynn) who is wrongly imprisoned, escapes and becomes a pirate in the Caribbean. The movie also stars the incredible Basil Rathbone (who just may have the coolest sounding name ever) as Blood’s partner, the treacherous Captain Levasseur.
Said Gerber of the story line:
“There are some things you don’t mess with, and that is as classic a movie storyline as you will ever find.”
I’m happy to hear that coming from a big studio producer. I’ve been saying it for awhile now: If they want to remake something, make it something old. Something hardly anyone has heard of. Leave the story alone and just modify how you tell it. I’m a little disappointed to hear the new Captain Blood won’t be at sea like the original, but after the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the announcement of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 – add to that the possibility of Master and Commander sequel and (ugh!) a movie based on the board game Battleship – maybe moving Captain Blood to space is the right way to go. Warner Bros. and Gerber seem to think so anyways.
Now for the goodies I promised:
I’ve got two videos for you to watch. The first is the original trailer for Captain Blood set to the score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. If you like the trailer, then check out the entire film for free in the second video. You’ll have to install the proprietary video software to watch it, but the entire 1935 classic Captain Blood can be watched on Veoh. Don’t worry, it’s completely legal: the site works just like Hulu and is sponsored by ads so there’s no fear of watching it on a haxz0r type site. You can even download the entire film to your computer to watch at a later time.
‘Captain Blood’ Original Trailer
‘Captain Blood’ Full Movie
So, who can you see playing the three main roles of Captain Blood, Captain Levasseur and the love interest Arabella Bishop? I know I’m a Nathan Fillion fan and maybe it’s because I loved Firefly but I can totally see him as Captain Blood in space. Tim Roth could make a great Captain Levasseur but I’m unsure of who I’d like to see play the love interest, Arabella Bishop.
What are your thoughts on remaking the classic film Captain Blood? Do you like that the new version is being set in space and if so who would you recommend in the three leading roles?
Captain Blood is tentatively slated for a 2011 release.