For those of you—like me—who enjoy classic Hollywood swashbucklers, there are few movies with more buckles being swashed than Captain Blood. I mean, you’ve got Errol Fynn at the top of his game and Basil Rathbone, who was pretty much always at the top of his game. It’s pirates! Granted, it lacks ninjas and dinosaurs, but it’s covered in awesome sauce.
Now it’s getting re-made, and they are putting it in space.
Of course they are.
I can’t say that I’m surprised. First off, except for the Pirates of the Caribbean series—and possible the less family oriented Pirates—there haven’t been any successful pirate movies in the last few decades. Cutthroat Island pretty much took all the buckles and flushed them, making it a flushbuckler.
Actually, I rather enjoyed that movie, but it’s got Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, and sword fighting. I doubt the new Captain Blood will have the same. And those three together these days likely wouldn’t be as much fun.
And as I’ve written many times before, Hollywood is completely and utterly creatively bankrupt. Now it’s not like Captain Blood was an original idea, it was a novel by one of the great swashbuckler writers this side of Dumas, Rafael Sabatini. Hollywood filming books and movies, even games, doesn’t bother me as much as filming films. I mean, once it has been committed to celluloid—or digital file—the only reason I can see for redoing it is to improve it.
I have a strong, strong suspicion that these guys are not going to improve Captain Blood.
The one good thing I can see coming out of this? Lots of cool role-playing game campaign ideas.