McG Updates ’20,000 Leagues’, Prepping Terminator 5

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

mcg on set McG Updates 20,000 Leagues, Prepping Terminator 5

Two film directing projects on the horizon for McG (Terminator Salvation) is the Disney remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the fifth installment in the Terminator franchise, currently being referred to as simply Terminator 5. It appears that McG’s focus is currently on 20,000 Leagues, with T5 to follow after that. Thanks to IESB and Collider, we have an update on both high-profile projects.


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

McG’s film appears to be both a remake of the Richard Fleischer film from 1954 that starred Kirk Douglas and James Mason, as well as a new kind of adaptation of the 1870 novel by Jules Verne. McG has talked about the aim to for his version:

“It’s a bit of a departure from the Fleischer movie, and much more in keeping with the spirit of the novel, as far as what Aronnax is up to, and the becoming of Nemo, and how the man became at war with war itself. So there’s a little bit more meat on the bone in regard to the genesis of the Nemo character than you’re given in the ’50s movie that Disney made. And also, it’s a little more contemporary.”

“I love that [original] movie, but there were two female characters, and they were both prostitutes. And, there were a couple of black people in the film, and they were all electrocuted. So, nowadays, I think we need to progress a little bit beyond that.”

The movie appears to be quite far along in the development stages, since McG reveals they’ve been scouting various shooting locations around the world from France, Japan and England, to Canada, Australia and Hawaii (the latter for some sort of “little volcano work”). McG has revealed he is aiming for it to be an action-packed film, trying to capture the spirit of the adventure from the original story.


Terminator 5

Although McG says his focus is very much on 20,000 Leagues at the moment, he reveals that he’s also prepping Terminator 5. With such a complex world to manage in the Terminator franchise, I’d say McG is wise to at least have the next installment in mind, even if it’s still a ways off.

McG talked about his intention for the Terminator franchise, speaking about whether or not he wants to take a break from it or dive back in, as Michael Bay did with Transformers 2. He says he’s excited about the next part of the series’ story, and talks about a possible angle for it that could see it getting, “out of the apocalyptic world and into the contemporary world.”


One great thing to hear is that McG is listening to what fans have been saying (good and bad) about Terminator Salvation, and reassures us he takes it on board. He admits that when people don’t like something you’ve done, all you can do is look at what you did wrong (and, indeed, what you did right) and try and evolve as a storyteller.

Although I don’t think McG should allow fans to completely shape his vision for the next Terminator, he should pay at least some attention to those who ultimately buy the tickets to see the movies.

I’m very interested to see how 20,000 Leagues will turn out, specifically with McG at the helm. He’s not the director I would have personally picked, nor did I see coming the news about him being chosen for it, but nonetheless it’s an interesting choice.

The part about the next Terminator possibly going from the, “apocalyptic world into the contemporary world,” was first hinted at a few months ago when McG brought up the time travel angle again. An industry source then said that T5 would see the franchise (specifically John Connor) transported back in time to London, England. That, combined with what McG has said above, could mean that rumor could very well turn out to be true.

If this was the case, it would take the franchise away from the future war between man and machine that we’d heard about for the first three movies, and back to the old (no pun) travel-back-in-time formula. Haven’t we been there and done that? Isn’t three movies of that enough? As much as Salvation had problems, one of the aspects I loved was finally getting to see the future war. I just don’t know if it’s right to revert back to the old ways of the franchise.

What do you think about what McG has said: Do you like the direction he’s going with 20,000 Leagues? How about the direction he’s thinking about going with T5?

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is currently in the development stages and doesn’t have a release date yet. Terminator 5 is in the prep stage and also doesn’t have a release date.

Sources: Collider and IESB

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  1. Here’s my 2% of $1 >
    T:S was far better than the “Project Angel” script (Connor dies, and Worthington assumes his persona by putting on Connor’s skin. No joke).
    Here’s my script architecture for T:S > I think the audience would have had a buy-in and a clamor for T5:
    [a] opening sequence is not has hopeless as filmed and the motivation of the Resistance is to hit Skynet Central before the T800 comes online. Forget the ‘signal’ (see [b])
    [b] Resistance Command builds a machine-killing virus, but needs to broadcast it to make it effective. Connor points out the weakness (tracking back to the source of the broadcast) and the Resistance Command initiates a back up that eventually saves their necks (a decoy that broadcasts).
    [c] Marcus meets up w/ a medium-sized resistance cell, headed by Kyle Reese. That cell is part of the attack on Skynet Central @ the climax of the film.
    [d] Connor and Reese meet at the end of the movie, and once he finds out who he is, Connor says “We gotta talk, you and I”
    [e] Coda: Connor gets promoted; Marcus goes into a state of panic and disbelief (out of time; out of place; uncertain of his own nature) and Blair tries to console him; Kate goes into labor; Reese does NOT know what to make of Connor; Barnes cleans his rifle, eager for more action; Command breathes a sigh of relief; the Machines continue their work on T-800s in a different location, which is the set up for the next movie.
    Oh, and one important point > T5 is more like SW:ESB in that the heroes are put in a state of crisis, leading to the end battle, where, cut off from Command, Connor takes charge, and wins the battle AGAIN. T6 has Reese and Uncle Bob going back to 20th Century.

  2. I thought David Fincher was doing 20K…

    • Opps, my bad. REALLY old article, sorry.