David Fincher and Timur Bekmambetov to Direct Competing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Remakes

As if we didn’t have enough remakes happening already, now it looks like for the second time this year we are about to get the exact same remake heading into production from two different studios at the same time. Over the weekend it was revealed that David Fincher has signed on to direct Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, taking over for McG, who dropped out of the project late last year. It was a bit of a surprise considering all the other projects that David Fincher has had on his plate lately (a remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is still expected to be his next project), but apparently he was the one who approached Disney specifically because he wants to take on a “four-quadrant tentpole movie”. I guess after trying to go the Oscar route with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, he’s decided to switch gears and go in the opposite direction. Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Informant!) has been tapped to write the script.

Now the weird thing is that a day later Heat Vision has followed up with a report that Fox is developing their own adaptation of the Jules Verne classic. Apparently it is being produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, and they’re in talks with Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) to direct. Bekmambetov, much like Fincher, also has plenty of stuff currently in development, including a Moby Dick movie. The script for this version is being written by Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans). The story is now in the public domain, which explains why multiple studios can take a stab at it… but will audiences be interested in seeing the same movie twice? Just like the dueling Three Musketeers movies, it is now a race to see who can get to the big screen first. Care to place any bets on which one will be better?

  • oomfg

    Remake? Meh, it’s based on a classic book,so it is kinda destined to be made more than one movie about, which it has.
    Now, i’m not the usual guy who always compares books to films, but the 1950’s version failed (well, atleast in my opinion) because of certain story elements which made it too simple and typical-Hollywood, elements that were not part of the film.
    I really do hope that both of them try sticking to the novel, which in my eyes is almost a done and ready script for a film. I just hope they stay away from the typical blockbuster, and try avoiding needs for the stuid audience, which will only ruin and simplify the story. The film should be epic and timeless like the book, not a hi-tech sci-fi shit.

  • Derek

    I think the two directors are very talented and have quite a few things in common when it comes to there style of film making. I couldn’t help but think that a lot of the camera work and computer graphics in, Wanted reminded me of the camera magic in Fight Club as well; however, Finchers films almost always seem a lot more serious than the humorous comic book feel that Bekmambetov gives in his movies, like Day Watch and Night Watch. Both the directors movies are very entertaining, and I’m sure that each film makers version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea will be good in there own way and different from one another.

  • Jonny Ashley

    This could be kind of awesome. Like in the 90s when movies were all rip-offs of each other. Dante’s Peak and Volcano, and so on.

  • Art. K. Type

    The issue here is twofold: 1) this is going to be a remake, and 2) two studios are going head to head with the same story.

    Personally I feel that every popular story will get retold at some point. It’s an inevitability in the movie industry ($$$). And I don’t mind it at all. I look forward to 30-40 years from now when Star Wars (Original Trilogy & Prequel Trilogy) gets remade after Lucas is dead. If I don’t like it, I’ll still have the originals in some form or another, so people should shut up and not cry about their childhood being ruined. That goes for all movies, not just SW.

    As for 20,000 Leagues situation. You have two different storytellers retelling a classic tale. The story is the same, its just a matter of who can tell a more entertaining story.

    I love it when studios make competing films of the same or similar subjects. The creme will always rise to the top. So yes, I would definitely be interested in seeing both movies.

  • Fatbologna

    Timur sucks it. I’ll be seeing the Fincher flick in lieu of mr.euro-trash’s 90s-cliche-ridden shitfest. As much as I’d like to see Captain Nemo bullet-timing his way around harpoons while wearing black shades and a black leather turban…

  • oomfg

    But please Fincher and Bekagmamamatov, drop the stupid design that Disney originally made of the submarine, and go for the original disegin that Verne himself had in mind. We have to remember that this book was written in a time before submarines even existed.
    I really hope they look at the storytelling, atleast the visuals, from the persective of a sci-fi writer in the 1850’s and not 2000’s.