Steven Spielberg Keeps the Michael Crichton Fire Burning with Latest "Pirates" Film! 

The late great Michael Crichton's posthumously published novel, "Pirate Latitudes," is set to be a big screen adventure being developed by Steven Spielberg.

The relationship between Crichton and Spielberg started way back in the early 70s when both were new to Hollywood. The duo went on to work on the super-successful, and still a good movie, "Jurassic Park." They also developed NBC's "ER" together and the tornado film "Twister."

"Jurassic Park" screenwriter, David Koepp, will be adapting the script. Spielberg is going to produce and may direct the film version.

The novel "Pirates Latitudes" is set for release Nov. 24 and it's being described as an adventure set off the coast of Jamaica in 1665. According to Dreamworks, the book tells "a daring plan to infiltrate Port Royal, one of the world's richest and most notorious cities, and raid a Spanish galleon filled with treasure."

Stacey Snider, Spielberg's partner in Dreamworks, tells USA Today, "Anything that Michael wrote, Steven would be keenly interested to read. But without Michael knowing it, or even me knowing it, it turns out Steven always wanted to direct his own pirate film."

Spielberg adds, "Michael wrote a real page-turner that already seems suited for the big screen."

"Michael and I have had almost two decades of solid collaborations. Whenever I made a film from a Michael Crichton book or screenplay, I knew I was in good hands. Michael felt the same, and we like to think he still does."

Let's see how this pirates project, which seems to be grounded in realism, can compete with the more supernatural pirates film, "The Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.

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James Frey Returns...With a Little Help from Director Michael Bay 

Oprah crucified author James Frey and his "A Million Little Pieces" memoir for "fabricating large parts including details about his criminal record."

Now, the author is being embraced by Hollywood again for a novel he helped co-wrote with Jobie Hughes called "I Am Number 4."

DreamWorks has bought the rights to the book and has set Al Gough and Miles Millar to write the script.

"I Am Number 4" is the first in a six-book series and the movie adaptation is going to be produced and may be directed by "Transformers" director Michael Bay.

According to Variety, the plot is about:

"a group of nine aliens whose home planet is destroyed. They escape to Earth disguised as teenagers, and the title character discovers he and the others are still being hunted by the enemy that destroyed their planet."

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"XXX: The Return of Xander Cage" Gets New Director 

Columbia Pictures has hired Ericson Core to direct "XXX: The Return of Xander Cage," the third installment in the action franchise. Neal Moritz and Joe Roth are producing.

Vin Diesel will return as Xander Cage, an extreme sports athlete-turned-government agent. Rob Cohen directed the original "XXX," but both star and director decided to ignore the 2005 sequel, "XXX: State of the Union," which starred Ice Cube and was helmed by Lee Tamahori.

Cohen agreed to return as director last year, but dropped off and chose to work on "Medieval" instead.

The hiring of the new director must also get the approval from Diesel. The actor worked with Core before in the 2001 movie "The Fast and the Furious." Core was a cinematographer in that film.

Core made his directorial debut with the 2006 football flick "Invincible."

"Terminator Salvation" scriptwriters, John Brancato and Michael Ferris, wrote the script for "XXX: The Return of Xander Cage."

The plot involves Cage's return to the National Security Agency after an eight-year absence.

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The Santa Barbara Film Festival to Honor Quentin Tarantino 

Quentin Tarantino is set to get the 2009 Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film at The Santa Barbara Film Festival.

The trailblazing director is having a great year. His "Inglourious Basterds" debuted at No. 1 selling $38 million worth of box-office tickets. It's his biggest to date.

Now, he will be presented with the award by Douglas himself at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara during a gala dinner on Oct. 22.

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Get Ready to Board "Soul Train" the Movie! 

Remember the classic TV show "Soul Train?" Well, Warner Bros. has just hired Malcolm Spellman to write a big screen adaptation!

Don Cornelius, the host and producer of the TV show, will co-produce along with Darryl Porter and Aaron Geller of Porter/Geller Productions.

Spellman's take on the project? He's writing a film set in the 1980s!

He tells Variety:

"All of the hip-hop street dances you see today were born during that time period and were first seen on that show, and I remember doing all of them when I was a kid."

Wow, the big screen version of "Soul Train" sounds like "Breakin'" and "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo!"

According to Spellman, the plot revolves around our hero who comes from the L.A. hood, and his dancing prowess (he's good at "popping") will be his ticket out of the ghetto and into the spotlight.

Spellman further says, "This guy is a serious popper, with street edge, and he wants to get on that tour, with the hottest of the hot."

"Writing with Don involved is quite an experience. He's still the godfather of cool."

That's cool, but I told y'all, the plot sounds like "Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo." :happy

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