It was 1973 and Peter Medak was a hot director on the rise. Following the success of The Ruling Class, which had earned Peter O’Toole an Academy Award nomination the previous year, United Artists offered him Death Wish. But when the studio insisted on casting Charles Bronson instead of Medak’s pick, Henry Fonda, Medak passed on the project.
Back in London, Medak ran into his friend Peter Sellers, who asked him to direct his next film, Ghost in The Noonday Sun, which was set to be filmed on the island of Cyprus. Somehow the idea of filming a 17th-century pirate comedy aboard real ships on the Mediterranean seemed a good idea at the time [ . . . ]