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Next week marks the release of the 20th anniversary Blu-ray and DVD releases for Andrew Davis’ 1993 big screen adaptation of the crime thriller The Fugitive, and it might have you wondering just what the heck Davis has been up to in the seven years since he last directed a film. Crave Online recently interviewed the filmmaker, and while the full extent of that interview isn’t yet available to read, they’ve revealed Davis plans on modernizing Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic (and oft adapted) 1883 novel Treasure Island, where the titular treasure will refer to the legendary booty of French pirate Jean LaFitte. As a South Louisiana native, I’m more intrigued by this project than I might have been otherwise, strongly hoping annoying treasure -seeking children aren’t the central characters.
“I’m currently putting together a modern version of Treasure Island set in post-Katrina Louisiana called Thieves Fortune,” Davis told Crave. “It’s the treasure of Jean LaFitte and I think it would be a really interesting, fun movie that could be about something and still be very entertaining.” Avenue Pictures CEO Cary Brokaw will be producing, and Davis is working on the script with a team of writers, including Midnight Run and Bad Boys scribe George Gallo. “Team of writers” is a phrase that usually sends shivers up my spine.
Davis was long synonymous with the action genre, having directed films like Above the Law, Under Siege and Collateral Damage, but he hasn’t gone behind the camera since 2006’s Coast Guard drama The Guardian. It turns out he isn’t interested in going back into the action-heavy films he started with.
"I turned down a lot of violent action movies which I don’t want to do,” he said. “I don’t want to make a film where violence is the entertainment. I had a great time with Holes. I’m interested in doing family movies or four quadrant movies that are based upon quality literature or books.” The subject of treasure hunting certainly does apply to both men and women, young and old, so he’s got that going for him. I wasn’t a big fan of Holes, but it had more to do with my disinterest in Shia LaBeouf than the film itself.
There have been several directors over the past few years talking about modern takes on Treasure Island, including a Guy Ritchie project and a Michael Bay-produced prequel series. The history of LaFitte, which also involved helping Andrew Jackson defend New Orleans against the British, could definitely make this the more interesting approach to the material. LaFitte reportedly buried his treasures along the Louisiana coastline and around Galveston, Texas, but no one can confirm that any actually exists. That hasn’t stopped a century of treasure seekers from trying to uncover it though.
No studios are attached to the project just yet, but assuming the script is worth half a damn, someone will be interested.