McG’s proposed ‘20,000 Leagues’ may stay submerged

11.17.09 8 years ago

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Well, I can’t say I’m surprised.

Michael Fleming has confirmed that both Disney and McG have agreed to suspend work on the film.  McG moves on to whatever he’s going to do next, and Disney focuses on other projects.  They really only pulled the trigger on this film in the first place, announcing the deals and making some noise about it, in order to derail another “20,000 Leagues” project.  Disney has had a fairly healthy ownership of the title for about a half-century now, and I think they wanted to keep it a Disney property.

Maybe this will kickstart that David Fincher version again.

Remember that one?  David Fincher directing, Sam Raimi producing, script by Craig Titley?

McG talked about having Will Smith play Captain Nemo, and he said he was absolutely serious about making it his next movie.  Unless you have the right script, though, there’s no reason to do it.  There’s nothing about it that demands that it be remade right now.  People aren’t out there crying for more Victorian adventure films set on submarines.  I have a feeling the Disney version would look a lot like “Pirates Of The Caribbean” if it got made.  Because all the live-action stuff DIsney’s making that is aiming for that audience all looks pretty much exactly like “Pirates Of The Caribbean.”

New Line had that other “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” project, but I’m not sure where it’s set up now.  Or if it still is.  I just know that for a little while, the above configuration came together.  And the whole point of that project was to finally do the story with an Indian lead actor, the way it needs to be if you’re going to accurately play out the racial and political tension of the novel.  And it was a big adventure, which I thought seemed like a really promising new thing for Fincher to do.  You know he’s got the chops to put any action filmmaker working to shame if he really wanted to do it… and I hope he does something like this some time soon, even if it’s not this one in particular.  

But if it is?  Can you imagine? 

Hope it’s not just another might have been.

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