U.K. producer to update classic pirate novel for screen
Shiver me timbers!U.K.-based Ecosse Films is developing a feature adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s swashbuckling novel, “Treasure Island.” Ecosse co-toppers Douglas Rae and Robert Bernstein want to update the 19th century tale of pirates and buried gold for contemporary auds, playing up the relationship between Long John Silver and narrator Jim Hawkins. Silver’s character will be hipper, in the style of Robert Downey Jr’s interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. Niall Johnson (“Callas”) is writing the script. Ecosse execs are also working on adapting their Sam Taylor Wood-helmed John Lennon biopic, “Nowhere Boy,” into a stage show. Taylor Wood’s pic, which grossed £1 million ($1.57 million) in the U.K. for distrib Icon, follows Lennon’s formative teenage years in Liverpool where he meets future Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The stage version will be set against the backdrop of the birth of rock and roll and its impact on youth culture. Ever since the success of Working Title’s stage adaptation of “Billy Elliot,” Brit film execs have been searching for potential stage vehicles. “Mamma Mia!” producer Judy Craymer and “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller are prepping a Spice Girls musical, tentatively titled “Viva Forever.” The tuner, initially bound for London’s West End, will be based on the songs and spirit of the all-girl British pop group. Working Title is developing a live musical version of “Bridget Jones’s Diary” while “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman and BBC Films are in the early stages of developing a musical inspired by the music of Burt Bacharach.