While we all wait with baited pipe smoke-tinged breath for another highly stylized Sherlock Holmes adventure from Guy Ritchie, Deadline Trenton reports that Warner Bros. has attached the director to helm a new take on Robert Louis Stevenson‘s classic novel “Treasure Island.”
And, as if there was any question about whether or not Ritchie would be straying from the high-action, whiz-bang stuff that’s made his Robert Downey Jr.-starring Holmes such a smash, the film has been set up by producer Lionel Wigram (Ritchie’s producing partner and the one responsible for ushering in the new Holmes tales). Wigram reportedly set up the project before he and Ritchie even became producing partners, and the buzz is that it will be a “stylized version of the classic novel.” So, yeah, pretty much just like Holmes. Expect the doubloons to roll in.
The film will be adapted by newbie screenwriter Alex Harakis (whose script, Enemy of God, popped up on the 2005 Black List). He’ll be tasked with adapting Stevenson’s 1883 novel, a tale best known for its vivid imagination, action, and atmosphere. Stevenson’s book has been adapted for the screen over fifty times (not including a number of takes on the material via theater, radio, and other books), with some of the best known examples including a 1934 MGM version, the 1950 Disney take (which was the studio’s first completely live action production), Orson Welles’ 1972 film, a murderer’s row of Eurpoean takes, and some weird spins – like Muppet Treasure Island and Treasure Planet.
The book itself is principally narrated by protagonist Jim Hawkins, the teenage son of some innkeepers who ends up going on some fantastical adventures in the book. If they can’t age up the character enough for Downey to take the role on (they really can’t, especially because the book is so often lauded for being a classic coming-of-age story), look for a younger actor to get cast who can do a wicked RDJ impression. Downey? Yeah, he’d make a fitting Long John Silver for this type of production. Argh and such.