May 16, 2010

Is David Fincher going to be helming the remake of '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'?

Well, The Hollywood Reporter seems to think so:

Captain Nemo and his Nautilus are surfacing again.

Months after deep-sixing a McG-helmed version of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," Disney is in negotiations with David Fincher to direct, and hot "Bourne Ultimatum" scribe Scott Z. Burns to write, a new take on the classic Jules Verne story.

The project came together after Fincher approached Disney's new production head Sean Bailey a few weeks into his job this winter. The Oscar-nominated helmer wanted to tackle a four-quadrant tentpole movie, somewhat of a departure from the dark, R-rated dramas such as "Fight Club" and "Zodiac" (or even "Curious Case of Benjamin Button") that he's done in the past.

The project was being developed under the radar as Bailey settled into his position under new studio topper Rich Ross, then gained steam in the past few days with Fincher and Burns entering talks for deals.

First published in 1869, the classic science fiction novel is in the public domain. But ever since Disney's Kirk Douglas-starring version was released in 1954, the studio and the Verne story -- about a group of men who encounter a vengeful scientific genius and his warlike submarine -- have been linked in the public's mind. Last year, Disney was fast-tracking a $150 million "Leagues" that would have served as an origin story for Nemo. But the project was the first of several to be sunk by Ross when he took over the studio from Dick Cook in the fall (ironically, given Fincher's involvement, the dark tone of the McG version was a concern for the new regime).

It's not surprising that Disney would revisit "Leagues." Ross has said his mandate is to make wide-appeal, pre-branded entertainment. And while plotlines are being kept submerged, the Fincher/Burns take on the material is described as being in the vein of "Star Wars" or "The Empire Strikes Back." It will aim to be visually dazzling.

Burns, who penned Steven Soderbergh's latest "Contagion" as well as "The Informant!," will begin writing immediately. That should give Fincher, who is in post on "The Social Network" for Sony, time to direct another movie (possibly "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," also for Sony, but his name has surfaced in connection with a host of projects) before jumping into "Leagues."

-Not the first project I'd associate Fincher with, but I think he could make it very interesting...thoughts?


  1. Whatever he needs to do to redeem himself of the (artistic) failure of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I'll support it.

  2. Well, that's if you considered it a failure. Granted, it doesn't seem to have aged well for most...ironic, given the film itself.

  3. First of all, nice one Joey, lol.

    Yes, this news is a bit puzzling, but I'm actually anticipating it. Although I'd prefer to see Fincher return to the genre of film which he's best at creating, I think that this branching out that he's doing lately is definitely admirable. He's an enormous talent, and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" is a favorite of mine, so the combination could add up to something very interesting.

    Plus, anything's better than McG handling it...