David Fincher to remake 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Posted by David Konow

David Fincher is the director of Se7en, Fight Club, and The Social Network, and whether you like his work or not, the guy definitely knows how to make a movie.

Before becoming an A-list feature director, Fincher helmed over thirty music videos, including Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got a Gun and Madonna’s Express Yourself, as well as a number of commercials, because he wanted to follow in Ridley Scott’s footsteps. (Scott directed commercials for ten years before directing his first feature).

A big student of Stanley Kubrick, Fincher is a favorite director of cinema fans and film students, much like Kubrick as well. Since his adaption of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which was the big Oscar-bait blockbuster that wasn’t, Fincher fans were wondering what he’d tackle next. He often flirts with a lot of projects before finally making a connection with one, but it looks as if his next film will indeed be a remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. 
 
As Collider tells us, originally Brad Pitt was up to star, and he wanted to work with Fincher again, but now that he’s passed, Fincher wants Channing Tatum, not to play Captain Nemo presumably, but probably Ned Land, who was played by Kirk Douglas in the 1954 Disney version. It seems odd that Fincher would do a project like this, although he definitely knows special effect, because he worked in the visual effects departments on Return of the Jedi, The NeverEnding Story, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
 
According to IndieWire, Leagues will also be in 3D, and it is slated to shoot in Australia, primarily for tax breaks, which could end up saving everyone a good $20 million. (The Matrix also saved a lot of money shooting down under as well). Indeed, Collider reports that 20,000 Leagues could end up being "the biggest production ever filmed in Australia."
 
So if Fincher’s version of 20,000 Leagues does finally come together, it will definitely be interesting to see what he could do in 3D, especially if the film is 70% CGI. 
 
Considering how dark many of Fincher’s movies are, it will be interesting to see if this version of the classic adventure tale will be more of a traditional event film, or a darker take. Andrew Kevin Walker, the writer of Se7en, did a rewrite on the script, and his work is usually very dark as well, although his unfilmed screenplays for X-Men and Silver Surfer were more traditional superhero stories. (There was no head in the box in either script).
 
Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum) was the first screenwriter on Leagues before Walker did a rewrite, and he said: "I had a great time working with David. It’s a script that I really loved, I loved that book and I think that David and I had a really great take. Just as a movie fan, even if I wasn’t involved, I would love to go see David Fincher do that movie, it would be amazing."