Just yesterday we were hearing that Fight Club director David Fincher is to direct a remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for Disney, and now we have word that another 20,000 Leagues movie is in the works. This seems to be another case of studios setting up rival projects which we have seen a lot of over the years. The problem for Disney is that the 20th Century Fox version is further along in production.
Now Heat Vision has learned that Fox is prepping its own version of the classic Jules Verne tale with an equally pedigreed filmmaking team. Producers Ridley and Tony Scott and their Scott Free Prods. are developing a “Leagues” project for the studio with a script by “Clash of the Titans” co-writer Travis Beacham. And they’ve been talking with director Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”) about helming the big-budget adaptation, though there’s no deal for Timur yet.
“20,000 Leagues” is in the public domain, so anybody can adapt it. Fox’s project began life quietly after the writers strike. Beacham is said to have approached the Scotts with his take on the literary classic, which Fox then bought. Bekmambetov, notoriously picky about his projects, is interested in directing “Leagues” and has had talks about the project, which insiders say is set in the future (although it follows the novel’s structure). The thinking is that a sci-fi take on the material might be more accessible than a period one.
So which one will surface first? It’s unlikely that whichever project ends up going into production last will continue as it will be seen as the ‘copycat’ and will probably fail at the box office.
Which version do you want to see? David Fincher’s or Timur Bekmambetov’s?