New 'Blood' at WB has its captain


Phillip Noyce looks to be hitting the water for the first time since his 1989 breakthrough "Dead Calm."

The director, who recently vacated Columbia's "Edwin A. Salt," has signed to develop and direct "Captain Blood," Warner Bros.' long-gestating remake of the 1935 swashbuckler.

The Oscar-nominated pirate movie starred Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and Basil Rathbone and was based on a novel by Rafael Sabatini. Set in the 1600s, it tells the story of a doctor who is convicted for treason, sold into slavery and escapes to high seas as a pirate.

Warners made the film with First Nation Pictures and has been trying to develop a remake for decades. In the early '90s, Jonathan Hensleigh, Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont took stabs at scripts.

Warners is developing the project as a possible U.K.-Australia co-production. Bill Gerber is producing. Warner Bros. Prods. Matt Reilly and Jesse Ehrman are overseeing for the studio.

Noyce, repped by WMA, last directed 2006's "Catch a Fire."

Jay A. Fernandez contributed to this report.