David Fincher to Direct '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea'

Disney is having another go at 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, six months after the studio halted production on the $150 million project.

A new director has been found to replace McG in the form of David Fincher (Fight Club) and a writer in Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum), both of whom are currently in negotiations. We can assume this new pairing will take things in a different direction than was expected a year ago.

According to THR, The project was reportedly being put together as Disney's new production head, Sean Bailey, settled into his position under recently appointed chairman, Rich Ross.

But it was Fincher himself that showed interest when he approached Bailey about wanting to do a "four-quadrant tentpole movie." Things really started to move forward as Fincher and Burns talked over the last few days.

The $150 million McG version was set to be an origin story for Captain Nemo (one of the main characters of the Leagues story) and apparently a darker tale - one of the problems that led to it being nixed. It's not clear if this new version will stick to darker territories but the involvement of Fincher certainly suggests it.

The plot for the Fincher/Burns 20,000 Leagues is being kept under wraps for the time being (as is the budget, which I imagine won't be as much as $150 million) but the studio will still aim for "visually dazzling" feature - in the same vein as Stars Wars or its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. Although Fincher isn't necessarily the first name I would think of to direct a version of this particular story, he's without a doubt one of the greatest directors of our time (in my opinion) and having him on-board surely can't be a bad thing.

The same goes for Burns, who is a hot screenwriter in Hollywood right now. On top of co-writing The Bourne Ultimatum (arguably the best of the trilogy), he's also written two Steven Soderbergh-directed projects, The Informant! and the upcoming Contagion. Expect to see a lot more movies with his name featured under writing credits in the future.

Burns will start writing 20,000 Leagues immediately while Fincher is in post-production of his Facebook movie, The Social Network. While Burns is writing, Fincher could fit in directing another movie (which might be the English language remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo he's attached to) but, if all goes to plan, he could move straight onto helming 20,000 Leagues for Disney.

What do you think of David Fincher being attached to direct 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Are you glad the project is back up and running (sans McG)?

No word yet on when we'll see this version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in theaters but we'll be sure to keep you aprised.

Source: THR (via Coming Soon)

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