Bryan Singer Set to Direct ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ Later This Year
The last time Bryan Singer directed an adaptation of classic tale the result was Jack the Giant Slayer, a movie so bad that it lost Warner Bros. over $100 million and put an end to Singer’s run at Warner Bros (the director had also made Superman Returns with the studio and had a number of projects in development including a remake of Logan’s Run). But, it’s amazing what a few successful superhero movies will do for a director’s career. Following X-Men: Days of Future Past and the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse at Fox, Singer will direct a big-budget adaptation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with filming set to begin this fall.
The project is something of a passion project for Singer who told Deadline, “Ever since I was a boy and first discovered the 1870 Jules Verne novel, I have dreamt of retelling this classic story.” Singer confirmed his movie, which is based on a story he came up with, will include original characters like Captain Nemo, Ned Land and Professor Aronnax, plus new characters and “sci-fi plot twists.”
Following the 1954 Disney movie starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason, there have been multiple attempts at a modern version of 20,000 Leagues with directors like McG and David Fincher all working on separate versions of the film. McG had wanted Will Smith and Sam Worthington to star (remember when Sam Worthington was a thing?), and Fincher and Disney couldn’t agree whether to cast Channing Tatum or Chris Hemsworth.
Singer has had mixed success with big-budget movies over the years. While the X-Men films have been highly successful, Warner Bros. wasn’t happy with his version of Superman and almost immediately set about to reboot the franchise. But he’s made enough money for Fox that they almost have to allow him the chance to work on a passion project if that means they can get him to return for one more X-Men movie.
No cast is attached to the film yet, but Singer will reportedly begin active development as soon as he wraps post-production on X-Men: Apocalypse.