James Mangold is taking the plunge. The Walk the Line and The Wolverine helmer has come aboard to direct Disney’s Captain Nemo, an origin story taking cues from Jules Verne’s classic science-fiction book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, EW has confirmed.
Sebastian Gutierrez (Gothika, Snakes on a Plane) is working on the latest draft of the script about the titular antihero. In Verne’s original novel, Nemo is a mysterious nobleman and scientific genius who commands the submarine Nautilus.
For Disney, Captain Nemo will mark a return to the waters charted by the studio’s 1954 film adaptation of 20,000 Leagues, which starred James Mason as Nemo, opposite Kirk Douglas and Paul Lukas.
Nemo isn’t the only Verne-inspired film in the works: Bryan Singer is developing an adaptation of 20,000 Leagues (which is in the public domain) across town at Fox.
Speaking of Fox, Mangold is currently preparing to start production on that studio’s to-be-titled sequel to The Wolverine, with Hugh Jackman starring.
Deadline first reported Mangold’s boarding Nemo.