Phillip Noyce in for 'Blood'

Warner Bros. to remake classic film

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

The director has signed to develop and direct "Captain Blood," Warner Bros.' long-gestating remake of the swashbuckling 1935 classic.

The Academy Award-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 against the King of England, sold into slavery and escapes to high seas as a pirate. (The book also was adapted in 1924 by the Vitagraph Co.)

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.

A search for writers is under way.

Bill Gerber is producing. Warners is developing as a possible U.K./Australia co-production. Matt Reilly and Elishia Holmes are overseeing for the studio.

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

Jay A. Fernandez contributed to this report.