The UK-based Ecosse Films has brought on screen-writer Niall Johnson to adapt Robert Louis Stevenson's swashbuckling novel Treasure Island for the big-screen.
Ecosse heads Douglas Rae and Robert Bernstein are looking to play up the relationship between Long John Silver and narrator Jim Hawkins, and update the 19th century tale of pirates and buried gold by making the Silver character "hipper." What do they mean by that? Just like the claims of Paul W. Anderson's Three Musketeers, they liken the update on the character to the style of Robert Downey Jr's interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. They might as well throw some references to the Dark Knight and Lord of The Rings while they're at it... oh, and Avatar's 3D technology.
Puffery aside (thanks Dominoes for the new word, but your pizza is still crappy), a major problem for me is the writer they've brought in. Johnson's only recognizable credits are the 2005 horror mystery White Noise -- which starred Michael Keaton and was quite possibly one of the worst movies I have ever seen -- and the critically split comedy he wrote and directed, Keeping Mum. Not a great sign, but I hope he's got some mojo up his sleeve.
...Ecosse Films is also working on adapting their John Lennon biopic, Nowhere Boy, into a stage show -- looking for the same kind of success Working Title had with their stage adaptation of Billy Elliot.
The Sam Taylor Wood-directed film chronicles Lennon's formative teenage years in Liverpool leading up to the formation of The Beatles. The film grossed £1 million ($1.57 million) in the U.K., made it's U.S. debut at the Sundance Film Festival (read my Nowhere Boy Review Here) but has yet to be slated for a U.S. as far as I know.
The stage version would be set against the backdrop of the birth of rock and roll and its impact on youth culture. They touch on that in the film, as it showcases Lennon's aspirations in becoming the next Elvis.
There's some great story to be told in stage version, but don't expect to hear any Beatles songs. Though I have to admit that the film has gotten a song stuck in my head since watching it -- "In Spite of All The Danger," which is the first song ever recorded by Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, in their pre-Beatles band The Quarrymen.
What do you think of Ecosse Films' plans for a TREASURE ISLAND movie and a NOWHERE BOY stage play?