Losing Nemo: Disney deep-sixes McG’s ‘20,000 Leagues’ revival


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Remember McG’s plan to bring Sam Worthington beneath the waves for a huge revival of Captain Nemo and ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’? In a shocker, the whole film has been scuttled by Disney; Claudia Eller and Dawn C. Chmielewski have the latest at our sister blog, Company Town. Here’s an excerpt:

In one of his first major creative moves as Walt Disney Studios’ new movie chief, Rich Ross has made the costly decision to pull the plug on the planned $150-million production of ‘Captain Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ -- the last project approved by his predecessor, Dick Cook.

The movie -- which was a high-priority project for Disney and envisioned as a potential franchise along the lines of the ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’ series -- was scheduled to begin shooting in February in Mexico. Disney had already spent millions of dollars hiring crews and building elaborate sets in Rosarito Beach, which will now have to be struck and workers laid off. The studio will also be shutting down the film’s production offices on the Burbank lot, where dozens of people were doing prep work for the movie.


Just a few weeks ago, Disney spent generously to hire writer Michael Chabon to quickly rewrite the script. The studio had recruited Chabon, author of ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,’ to rework ‘Nemo’ after he had recently written a draft of its forthcoming production ‘John Carter of Mars,’ the first live-action film to be directed by Pixar Animation Studios director Andrew Stanton.

As recently as late last week, the production of ‘Nemo’ appeared to be full speed ahead...



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McG photo by Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.