Even though his next film, X-Men: Apocalypse doesn’t come out until May of next year, director Bryan Singer, who turns fifty today, announced that his next film will be an adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic science-fiction novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Singer made the announcement via an Instagram post, where he stated, “It’s my 50th birthday (ouch), and I just put the finishing touches on the script for my next film. A story I’ve wanted to retell since childhood. I promise this will be an epic and emotional adventure for all ages! An adventure very dear to my heart.” The photo on the post was of a completed script for the movie, which you can see below.
The adventures of Captain Nemo on board his submarine The Nautilus is one of the most famous science-fiction adventure stories ever told. Unlike a lot of Verne’s other work, the science in 20,000 Leagues mostly holds up today, at least in terms of predicting modern submarines. The book was of course made into a feature film by Walt Disney in 1954 which was a huge hit, and there have been other less notable adaptations since over the years, mostly low budget television versions.
Then just a couple of years ago, David Fincher was developing a new version of the story for Disney. He was eying Brad Pitt for the lead, but for various reasons it fell apart. It’s not clear from Singer’s Instagram post which studio is making this movie; The novel has long since fallen into public domain, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Disney film, despite their famous association with the property.
And for those of you either worried or elated that this means Bryan Singer’s time with the X-Men universe is done, that doesn’t seem to be the case. One of things he said in his Instagram post was “Not abandoning the X-Men universe. Very excited about X-Men: Apocalypse and beyond.” What this probably means is that he’ll take a producer role for the next X-Men feature film, due to hit in 2018, similar to his role producing X-Men: First Class. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he directed another X-Men movie at some point down the line as well.
How do you feel about a return to the “steampunk-before-it-was-cool” world of Captain Nemo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!