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Jules Verne’s 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is one of the more exciting classic novels, and has a pretty solid film version in Richard Fleischer’s 1954 adaptation for Disney. The last time we’ve seen an iteration of the story was the retched 1997 TV movie with Sir Michael Caine and Patrick Dempsey. One free drink from the Nautilus’ bar for anyone who correctly assumed it would be a while longer before we get another one.
After an initial attempt in 2009 by McG to make it, 20,000 Leagues has been firmly in the directorial grasp of David Fincher. Of course, that was three years ago, and after a handful of other delays, it looked like the project was finally set to begin filming in Australia. But the Sydney Morning Herald reported the film is once again being temporarily delayed by Disney. With all of these problems, how is this not a Terry Gilliam production?
The delay is reportedly due to casting issues, as Brad Pitt officially doesn’t want the lead role of Ned Land. But "temporary" is the key word here, as Australian officials – including Prime Minister Julian Gillard and Arts Minister Tony Burke - dropped $21.6 million into Disney’s pockets in order to secure filming in their country, which was meant to "support investment in the local industry and [...] create up to 2,000 jobs." Seems like they could have just paid 2,000 people $21 million and more people would be happy.
A Disney spokesperson said the production has been pushed back to 2014, which would give Fincher time to get that Gone Girl adaptation out of the way, should he so desire.