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Two X-Men Directors Are Making Dueling 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Movies

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Shots fired! Or harpoons launched? Just weeks after Bryan Singer said that following X-Men: Apocalypse, he’d turn his attentions toward his long-awaited adaptation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, another X-Men movie director has announced some mighty similar intentions.


That’d be James Mangold, who made 2013's The Wolverine and is working on its as-yet-untitled sequel. Mangold has also just added a Disney film called Captain Nemo to his upcoming slate. Though both films are Verne-inspired, there’s a chance they won’t exactly be identical, at least according to Deadline, which calls Captain Nemo an “origin story.”

The Deadline report also notes that Disney’s been itching to make a new 20,000 Leagues film for some time, with David Fincher formerly attached. (Imagine what that might have looked like!) The project holds special meaning for the studio, for obvious reasons:

The original 1954 Disney film was one of the earliest live-action pictures made by Walt Disney (Treasure Island was the first, in 1950.) Disney famously bet his studio on a film best remembered for the giant squid scene. It became the second-highest-grossing film that year, won three Oscars and became the basis for a Disney theme park attraction.


Since Mangold—whose other films include Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma—is going to be tied up in X-Men land for awhile, Singer’s film seems likely to make it to theaters first. If that’s a flop, will Disney nostalgia be enough to propel an second, unrelated 20,000 Leagues film forward? More importantly, will either movie dare to re-enact the best scene from the 1954 version that doesn’t involve a giant squid, which is obviously this (below)?

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