DreamWorks Jumps Into Pirate Film Gig With Blackbeard

DreamWorks is bringing a project on the life of legendary pirate Blackbeard to the bigscreen.

David Franzoni, who wrote Amistad and Gladiator for the studio, will pen Blackbeard, which delves into the life of British buccaneer Edward Teach.

Barry Josephson (Enchanted) is producing alongside motivational speaker and former Philadelphia 76ers prexy/co-owner Pat Croce, who wrote Pirate Soul, a book that chronicled the golden era of piracy, which spanned 1690-1730.

Idea for the project was hatched when Josephson enlisted Croce to make a cameo in his 2002 basketball pic Like Mike. Croce, who also penned the upcoming kids book My Pop-Pop Is a Pirate, waited until December 2006 to send Josephson a treatment for the film. The pair brought aboard Franzoni, who began working on the pitch after the writers strike ended.

Croce, who owns a pirate museum in Key West, Fla., is collaborating closely with Franzoni on the screenplay.

Denise Radovanov is exec producing.

Josephson recently wrapped the sci-fi family adventure They Came From Upstairs for 20th Century Fox, where he has a first-look deal. He and Croce also teamed on the syndicated reality show Pat Croce: Moving In for Sony Pictures Television.

Franzoni’s recent credits include a draft of Childhood’s End, based on the Arthur C. Clarke novel.

Credit: Variety