People are reporting that new Disney head Rich Ross has pulled the last project his predecessor — Dick Cook — had in the hopper, a costly reboot of the 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea franchise. Disney had already spent $10 million on preproduction — some models were even displayed at this year’s San Diego con — and Michael Chabon had been hired to polish the script.

Now, we’re fans of most of the previous versions of this story — including Kirk Douglas’s pants-to-the-armpits turn as Ned Land, Harryhausen’s marvelous Mysterious Island, and even Karel Zeman’s weirdo animated version — but we are STILL doing the happy dance over this movie’s journey to the dustbin behind Mickey Drive.


Because of the name of the director attached to this project.


The guy who produced, oh say, “Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious.”

And, as any sane human would agree, based on the empirical evidence at hand, McG sucks.

Yes, it seems to us that Mr. Rich has only done the decent thing by pulling the plug on yet another bloated, noisy, empty Hollywood contraption that would be 94 percent badly conceived, sketchily rendered, plot-replacing CGI, two percent content and probably three percent farting chipmunks. So in our view, Rich is a Real American Hero.

According to one person familiar with the situation, Ross made the decision based on creative concerns and plans to redevelop the movie, a new adaptation of Jules Vernes’ classic novel, which the studio first brought to the big screen in 1954.

Now, it’s entirely possible that the movie got scuttled just because Rich Ross is a dick who gets his jollies by murdering everything his predecessor left behind.

But we’re going to take the more positive view.

Sort of related: Only Two of the Top 30 Grossing Films of This Decade Are Original. Those two being FINDING NEMO and KUNG FU PANDA. Discuss.


Stills from The Fabulous World of Jules Verne.


  1. Well, new bosses are willing to kill a predecessor’s projects. If it’s a success, then firing the predecessor was a mistake.

    Also, given the public’s reaction to “Atlantis” (which I enjoyed), and the last incarnation of Captain Nemo (a car chase… in Venice?), submarine adventure just doesn’t seem a good idea.

    IMDB lists 11 different versions, so maybe this has been done to death already.
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo

    Now… what if they update it… like they did with Journey to the Center of the Earth? Maybe add some Somali pirates? Or make Nemo an environmental terrorist? Or just buy the rights to “Fluke”…

  2. Didn’t they do an update in the 1970’s with José Ferrer with a then enviromentalist shift or am I thinking of Patrick Duffy and The Man From Atlantis?

  3. The stat re original story ideas isn’t very meaningful, IMO. Art films, whether they’re original or adaptations, aren’t intended to be top grossers. If they are, great, but the movie studios are more like fast food chains or consumer goods manufacturers than they are like book publishers. Unless the movie is a direct-to-DVD cheapie, the investment in the film creates pressure for it to be profitable. A film with a ready-made audience is a better bet than an original film that could be seen as an imitation of a genre film anyway.


  4. I actually kind of like McG… When he isn’t touching something already created by someone else more talented.

    Thus Chuck, Supernatural = Good Idea, Terminator:Salvation, 20,000 Leagues = Really, really, really bad idea.

  5. Actually, producers Do ‘do something’–they connect the talent with investment money. They are critical in financing films. If there are many of them, then that’s indicative of the industry’s health. Shows how much you know.

    The movie industry as a whole doesn’t ‘do anything useful in society except distract us from the things that really matter. Well, not for me, but for you normies out there, who value family and friends over everything but can’t seem to live up to your values.

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