In the legion of would-be franchise-starters that never got a follow-up, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is towards the top of the list of films wholly deserving of a sequel. The 2003 drama earned 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Peter Weir, and scored two wins for Best Cinematography and Sound Editing. But against a budget of $150 million, the sea-set Napoleonic War pic scored only $212 million at the box office, making its sequel prospects unlikely.
Which was a shame because the potential was all there. The film was based on one of 20 novels in Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey-Maturin series, and star Russell Crowe was more than game to continue on as Captain Jack Aubrey. Now, nearly 15 years later, Crowe says movement on a Master and Commander sequel may actually be happening:
For the Aubrey Maturin lovers , I do hear whispers indeed that a second voyage is perhaps potentially pre-proposed a possibility . So O’Brian affectionate’s and aficionados , let @20thcenturyfox know of your pleasure . pic.twitter.com/HqyE8y15Uu
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) November 27, 2017
It’s unclear as to what “whispers” Crowe is referring, but it sounds like the ball is in 20th Century Fox’s court. Sea-set films are notoriously expensive and time-consuming, but Weir made a masterfully entertaining film out of Master and Commander and that film’s accumulation of fans would appear to be quite large—including Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi.
Weir, 73, hasn’t made a film since 2010’s disappointing The Way Back, which itself was the filmmaker’s first film since Master and Commander. It’s unclear if he would be game to return for the sequel, or if another filmmaker might step into the breach, but one would hope a replacement would maintain the character focus and deliberate pacing of Weir’s film in favor of trying to “action-up” one of these stories.
Regardless, I’m in. How about you?