Thursday, February 14, 2013

Planning a New Dirk Pitt Movie

As of 2013 it still seems not only that no new Dirk Pitt movie is headed to the screens, but even likely to get made in the foreseeable future. The costly failures that were the two previous films, and the particularly sour aftermath of the production of Sahara, cannot but dampen enthusiasm for another Pitt film on the part of prospective producers.

There also seems to be little demand from anyone but confirmed Cussler fans--the kind of action-adventure for which the novels are known, for the most part, taking a back seat to first and foremost, fantasy and science fiction epics, particularly those featuring superheroes; and second, the more grounded action-adventure ushered in by the Jason Bourne series, and reinforced by the turn of the Bond films in this direction from Casino Royale on. The Pitt novels, which resemble the pre-reboot James Bond in many ways, fall into a middle territory which seems to have been less salable to critics and audiences (though I admittedly wonder if there is any real reason why this should be so). At the same time the fascination with mysteries of the sort that rewrite the history books also seems to have waned somewhat since 2005, when The Da Vinci Code was still setting the bestseller lists afire.

Still, what if there were real interest in a new Pitt film? The series would still face a significant stumbling block in its reliance on cutting-edge technology and ripped-from-the-headlines geopolitics for its interest. Such material tends to date very quickly, after all. The essential concept, however--a protagonist whose milieu is the sea--seems more robust. Some version of Pitt, the National Underwater and Marine Agency, and the associated personalities, remain plausible as a concept. Rather than poring over the backlog of adventures looking for something to adapt, the thing to do would seem to be to take this and create an original adventure for the big screen around it which would hopefully have something of the series' swashbuckling spirit--just as the makers of the next Jack Ryan movie are apparently striving to do.

My Posts on the Dirk Pitt Series
12/2/12

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