Is McG Really Making ‘20,000 Leagues’?

01.14.09 9 years ago 5 Comments

AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek

So Latino Review just ran a piece on their site about a chat they had with director McG after the “Terminator: Salvation” roadshow exhibition they attended in New York.  In it, they say McG is interested in getting Will Smith onboard to star as Captain Nemo.

Not what I’ve heard.

As I said the other day when the project was announced, there was already a “20,000 Leagues” project in development with Sam Raimi producing for New Line.  That one was written by Craig Titley, and at one point, David Fincher was interested in directing it.  That was written for a real Indian lead to step in and play Nemo, which is the only way it really works authentically.

Still, when this sort of development duel starts, anything can happen.  And when I heard Disney had a script already by Bill Marsilli, I figured things were going to get really tight.

Now, I’m hearing the Bill Marsilli drafts have been tossed completely, and that McG is telling the studio he wants to redevelop the material from scratch with new writers.  And while those new writers are being hired, McG is closing his deal which promises to pay him $10 million if he makes it.

I don’t think he will, though.  Because I think there’s another level to the game that’s being played.  See, McG is negotiating right now with Warner Bros. to come back and make a fifth “Terminator” film, and now he can bring this Disney quote to them and demand $10 million and 10% of the gross, which is what he wants.  And if Warner says yes, then expect “20,000 Leagues” to take a distant backseat to that project.

Fascinating stuff, and we’ll definitely keep an eye on things as they progress.

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