Disney+ Orders NAUTILUS, a Captain Nemo Origin Story

It’s time to go back under the sea! 20,000 leagues under it. In news we first saw on The Hollywood Reporter, Disney+ has ordered a brand new series, Nautilus. Jules Verne’s classic tale, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, serves as the inspiration for the new show.

In this day and age, everyone deserves an origin story. This includes the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Most retellings of the novel focus on the Captain’s encounters with Professor Pierre Aronnax and Ned Land. Disney has even told this story with its 1954 movie  20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. However, this new series will go further back in time. This 10-part live-action series will show the beginnings of Captain Nemo. 

The show focuses on Nemo’s background as an Indian prince taken captive by the East India Company. Robbed of his birthright and family, Nemo seeks revenge against those who hurt him. It sounds like the show will also delve further into Nemo’s crew. In all likelihood, it will reveal how Nemo built his submarine, the Nautilus. Though the novel touched on fictitious locations and creatures, Nautilus will see Nemo “discovering magical underwater worlds.” Maybe Disney’s Ariel can even make a guest appearance.

This series sounds like a fresh and interesting take. However, it is important to remember that Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea discussed poignant themes. Explorations of colonialism, imperialism, and war were integral to the story. Given the description of Nautilus, it sounds like the show will consider these as well. Additionally, though Nemo stars as the hero of this story, the idea of his “seeking revenge” still plays a part. Nemo is an extraordinarily complicated character. Thus, we hope Disney+ tells the story with the utmost respect and historical accuracy.

Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea title card showing Ned Land and Captain Nemo over an ocean with the Nautilus below


Moonriver TV’s Xavier Marchand and Seven Stories’ Anand Tucker are developing and co-producing Nautilus. James Dormer will write and executive produce the show. Johanna Devereaux also has the role of executive producer.

Devereaux told The Hollywood Reporter, “Jules Verne’s story is a beloved classic all around the world. It’s a huge privilege to bring the Nautilus and her crew to life again in such a bold, exciting way, with a diverse team of creative talent and on-screen characters. The series will be breathtaking, action-packed and a huge amount of fun.”

Filming is currently slated to begin in early 2022.

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