Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Old Way and the Wicked.
The Admiral Benbow.
A few years ago Disney famously bombed at the box office with a Sci-Fi version of 'Treasure Island'. There's nothing wrong with the Sci-Fi angle. You could do it as a crime thriller, a western... The problem was: they didn't understand the story. It isn't a cheering, coming-of-age tale. It's a fable of lost innocence, treachery and Jim-lad is not the hero. He is a moral failure - a typical Stevenson protagonist.
The big problem with Treasure Island for contemporary audiences is the lack of the feminine. Disney turned the Captain into a woman. This is just the wrong character: only Long John Silver can be a woman. Who does the cooking, the kindness, the manipulation... Let's a man do the driving [Israel Hands, the story's true existential hero.)
It's not a part for a babe and forget about the missing leg. I would cast Whoopi Golberg. There were black women who were pirates in the 18th.C. And who can - plausibly - vanish into the islands. Who can go home?