Disney Close to Deal to Make 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA the “Biggest Production Ever Filmed in Australia”; Brad Pitt Not Set to Star

     February 14, 2013


David Fincher will require a massive budget if/when he gets 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea into production.  Fincher courted his Benjamin Button/Fight Club/Seven star Brad Pitt to headline, partly to secure a big name that would push Disney to greenlight the project.  Pitt even said he’d love to do it if “schedule and time allocation” allowed.  Contrary to reports posted earlier today, Pitt is not set to star.  However, Disney may have found a way to forge on financially with or without Pitt.  The Australian government is ready to offer a 30% tax rebate worth almost $20 million if Disney shoots the remake Down Under.  Hit the jump for details.

The benchmark is The Wolverine—Fox negotiated a one-off 30% tax incentive (compared to the Aussie standard 16.5% for foreign productions) to shoot in Australia.  The Wolverine employed 2000 locals and generated $80 million in local investment, according to THR.  Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean is prepared to extend the same deal to Disney, and claims 20,000 Leagues will be even bigger:

”If it comes off [20,000 Leagues] will be a bigger production than Wolverine. In fact, it will be the biggest production ever filmed in Australia.” [The Age]

david-fincher-20000 leagues under the seaFincher plans to shoot in 3D and estimates that the film will be about 70% CG.  Collider is located in the intersection between big adventure movies and David Fincher films, so giving David Fincher a couple hundred million dollars (pre-tax rebate) to shoot 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is an exciting prospect.

Here’s the synopsis for Jules Verne’s book to give you an idea of how Fincher plans to use all that money:

As the story begins in 1866, a mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition in New York City to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, who happens to be in New York at the time and is a recognized expert in his field, is issued a last-minute invitation to join the expedition, and he accepts. Canadian master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax’s faithful assistant Conseil are also brought on board.

The expedition sets sail from Brooklyn aboard a naval ship called the Abraham Lincoln, which travels down around the tip of South America and into the Pacific Ocean. After much fruitless searching, the monster is found, and the ship charges into battle. During the fight, the ship’s steering is damaged, and the three protagonists are thrown overboard. They find themselves stranded on the “hide” of the creature, only to discover to their surprise that it is a large metal construct. They are quickly captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo. [Amazon]

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea image

  • dogg

    John Carter 2 coming up.

    • Nerdgasm

      That comment shows your ignorance to the type of film maker Fincher is and what type of films Disney is actually allowing being filmed under its tent. Shut up.

      • Kevin

        Yes! Your anger sustains me!

      • Old Soldier

        Better John Carter 2 than Alien 3. Hell, better Howard the Duck 2 than Alien 3.

    • Jeff Noble

      Wait..is this a drive-by ignorant comment?

      What you’re saying doesn’t make any sense since John Carter bombed mostly because of the awful marketing and awful title. Disney is not going to pull that crap again since they fired the Disney President and the person led the marketing for John Carter.

      Plus, this is a David Fincher film based on a FAMOUS and influential novel.

      • Scullibundo

        Are we suddenly pretending that Burroughs’ novel wasn’t influential?

        Anyway, I don’t think Disney will screw the marketing pooch on this one. The way Fincher has been talking about this film makes me think they will have to go out of their way to fuck up the marketing, because – aesthetically speaking, it is going to look very special.

      • DMcHugh

        Right. John Carter was actually quite a good film. I’ve never seen a good film maligned so badly by studio incompetence. In fact, it’s nominated for a couple of Oscars in effects categories. It got a decent script and some of the best CGI work I’ve seen.

      • Sikri06

        John Carter was not nominated for any Oscars.

    • sam

      What makes you say that about this Disney movie and not any of the others in production? “Tomorrowland” strikes me as a much riskier prospect than a 3D spectacle based on one of the most famous novels of all time.

    • sam

      What makes you say that about this Disney movie and not any of the others in production? TOMORROWLAND strikes me as a much riskier prospect than a 3D spectacle based on one of the most famous novels of all time.

  • Jack


  • alk

    should be renamed- 20,000 JOBS UNDERR THE SEAAA!

  • Aly

    Please make this a period piece like Peter Jackson’s King Kong rather than setting it up in modern times.

  • Old Soldier

    Please don’t kill all the characters like you did in Alien 3.
    “Whaaaaaa…but it’s Fincher!”

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  • West

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? 70% CG? 3D?

    Please don’t waste your time on this Fincher!

  • Anonymous

    But the movie with Kirk Douglas was so perfect it had heart and I watched it in awe, it looked so real, Mason was badass as Captain Nemo I felt he could kick my ass, Kirk was awesome as the harpooner, I wanted to be him, him and Lorre had great chemistry, not to mention the design for nautilus was kickass, it looked huge and dangerous with all those spukes, just remaster it and re realease it please !

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  • Trumpet Man Gun

    This sounds awesome! Here’s my idea of the perfect giant squid to cast as B-Pitt’s nemesis:


  • gimpsuit

    Australia needs a pat on the head like a good little boy so bad, it’s trying to buy friends. LOL.
    We could barely get films made here when our dollar was at 45c US, we are now over parity, there’s no real savings being made here.
    Please come make a movie here, we’ll pay you too.

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