McG Heads Down to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

I’ve never read Jules Verne’s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, or any Jules Verne novel for that matter, so I couldn’t tell you if this Nemo guy is supposed to look Asian or Indian ala Stephen Norrington’s much-maligned “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” or if this new kid-friendly version by Disney will have Nemo go the Caucasian route. I’m guessing that will be the case, but I could be wrong. (Probably not, though.) In any case, the latest version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” will be coming from Disney and director McG, whose continuation of the Terminator franchise, “Salvation” is getting pretty good buzz from the line community. Surprisingly so, given that McG is about two rungs on the “Directors We Love to Hate” ladder, just below Uwe Boll and Brett Ratner. Of course it probably helps that the trailers we’ve seen for “Salvation” isn’t full of retarded quick zooms and slow motion.

Says Variety:

Disney has set McG to direct “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo,” a family film that is being fast tracked by the studio.

McG, who most recently helmed “Terminator: Salvation,” had multiple studios vying for his next slot. Sources said he will be paid $8 million against 7% of gross.

Scripted by Bill Marsilli, the film is an origin story of Nemo as he creates his warship, the Nautilus. The characters come from the Jules Verne novel.

The 1954 original “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” was the first live-action film made by Walt Disney, who famously bet his studio on a movie best remembered for the giant squid scene. It became the second-highest grossing film that year and won three Oscars. The film has also been the basis for various rides at the Disney theme park over the years.

Wow. $8 million up front for the gig, plus 7% gross of the profits! That’s Jack Sparrow money. No doubt Disney can afford it. Besides the movie, which will undoubtedly be a big-budget Summer Event film for them, there will be spin-off rides and Happy Meal merchandising. You know, the usual affair. I’m still waiting for my Elizabeth Swann action figure promised with my 10-piece chicken McNuggets, by the way…

Below: Disney producer to McG: “The shark and octopus can talk, right? Or can they at least sing and dance?”