Guy Ritchie to Direct ‘Treasure Island’ Adaptation

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 1:09 pm,

After the considerable commercial success of the recent Sherlock Holmes films, director Guy Ritchie has solidified his transformation from Indie darling to mainstream powerhouse.

He seems poised to continue on that trajectory after the recent announcement that Warner Bros. has recruited him to direct an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

According to Deadline, Ritchie will also produce the film with Lionel Wigram and Kevin McCormick, while Alex Harakis is handling screenplay duties.

Based on the box office take of Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes series, audiences (if not critics) obviously responded well to the filmmaker’s marriage of lush period visuals with frenetic, highly modern action sequences (Robert Downey Jr.’s signature charm probably didn’t hurt, either). The same approach could conceivably lend itself to the classic tale of adventure and high seas piracy, which is already action-packed in its own right.

Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson Guy Ritchie to Direct Treasure Island Adaptation

Ritchie handled the seedy underbelly of Sherlock Holmes‘ Victorian London quite convincingly, no doubt channeling his earlier forays into London crime with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Treasure Island is a bit further outside of Ritchie’s comfort zone, but still contains plenty of opportunity for quirkiness and dark humor. There may even be parts for old Ritchie regulars like Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones, both of whom seem quite well-suited to playing pirates.

Of course, much depends on the tone and approach Ritchie and writers are taking with what is ultimately an adaptation of a children’s novel. It’s unclear if the film will be to its source material and cater to the PG crowd, or go for a darker, grittier interpretation. The massive success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is likely not lost on Warner Bros., so it’s reasonable to assume that they’ll shoot for something in the PG-13 range, appealing to teens and twenty-somethings in particular (much like Sherlock Holmes did).

Several other projects in various stages of development are also vying for Ritchie’s attention. He reportedly signed on to helm another Warner Bros. project, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.after Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Haywire) bowed out. Ritchie also has a sequel to his 2008 crime drama RockNRolla waiting in the wings, though it has apparently been placed on the back burner for now. And, of course, there’s Sherlock Holmes 3 to consider.

Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes 3 Guy Ritchie to Direct Treasure Island Adaptation

Treasure Island has been in development limbo for some time, with other big names coming and going, including Oscar-nominated director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne SupremacyUnited 93). Given Greengrass’ penchant for handheld docu-drama-style filmmaking, it’s unclear if he would’ve been the most optimal choice to direct a fanciful pirate epic.

Are you guys excited to see what Guy Ritchie can do with the likes of pirates and treasure and high seas adventure? Let us know in the comments.

We’ll bring you more Treasure Island news as it develops.

Source: Deadline [via Indiewire]

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TAGS: treasure island

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  1. I always get Treasure Planet & Treasure Island mixed up for some reason, so whenever I see something about Treasure Island I’m like “That’s the one with the aliens, right?” even though I have read Treasure Island. xD

    • how do you get those two mixed up? the word “planet” at least should be a dead giveaway.

  2. No no no….just make the second RockNRolla he says is ready to go…

    • Agreed.

    • That’s what I want to see. I just watched RocknRolla again last week and while it’s not his best film I still enjoy it.

    • no

  3. I’ve taught Treasure Island in the classroom for years. It’s my “go to” book. Even with all the interpretations out there EVERY SINGLE TIME the kids (and parents) like the classic one http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043067/

    It’s the only one that gets to the heart of the matter that Stevenson wrote for. The story is about the kid. Not about redemption or even pirates, but about a kid going on and adventure and beginning that journey from boy to well… slightly older boy! :D

    Don’t make it darkity dark! Make it true!

    • “I’ve taught Treasure Island in…It’s my “go to” book…”

      nobody cares.

      • Know what, Timmy? Not only are you illiterate, because I care and laud that teacher who cares, you have earned me fantasizing about ramming a library card in your ear or anyplace else you have where the sun and intelligence do not shine, so you will become more educated than you obviously are now!Get the grease!!! It’s Rammer-Time!

    • Keep up the good work, with teaching classic literature like that! I am glad to see there are at least a few teachers out there who appreciate what classical literature is! “Treasure Island”, “The Black Arrow”, “Kidnapped”, “The White Company”, “Men of Iron”, “The Three Musketeers”, “Captain Blood”, “Ivanhoe”, “The Talisman”….aaahhh, they sure don’t make many good classical adventure tales like those anymore! I have a huge home library, and there are many great well-known and obscure classics like these holding a prominant place on my bookshelves! My hat is off to you for caring about good literature and your students’ interest & well-being!

    • Glad to see that Treasure Island still finds its way into the classroom. There is a history behind Treasure Island. It was real. In 1750 a stolen Spanish treasure was buried in the Caribbean. It is the true prequel to Stevenson’s TI. Treasure Island: The untold Story. A movie in the making?

  4. bring on the real rocknrolla already!

    • no.

  5. oo! I can’t wait for the su…per…slo.moooo.ooo.oo.o..swash…buck…ling scenes!

    • ha clever.

  6. Can it be a re-make of Muppet Treasure Island? Cause I think we all know that Muppet Treasure Island is all types of awesome.

  7. If treasure island is done in the spirit in which it was written, as a historical period piece of serious adventure for the younger reader (say, teenagers of “back in the day”), then it just might actually be good. I am 54, and read it back a number of years ago, and still find it interesting today in giving it a reread. This kind of literature would hold a serious student’s interest more, than the junk they read in school nowadays. I can see why some people want to homeschool their kids! Treasure island is A-OK with me. I also would welcome a movie on The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; the old TV series was mildly entertaining at times.