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'Nautilus': Disney+ series based on '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' to explore Captain Nemo's origins

By Vanessa Armstrong
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Disney+ has ordered a show based on the Jules Verne classic, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The 10-part live-action series is called Nautilus and will be the latest iteration that brings Jules Verne’s 19th-century novel to the screen.

This isn’t the first time Hollywood has adapted Verne’s story about Captain Nemo and his amazing submarine, the Nautilus. The most well-known rendition is the 1954 movie, which starred James Mason as Captain Nemo and Kirk Douglas as Ned Land. Disney also had an attraction at Walt Disney World themed after this adaptation, though it sadly closed down in 1994.

There have been other remakes since Disney’s 1954 film, including a two-part mini-series starring Michael Caine and Patrick Dempsey that came out in 1997. According to The Hollywood Reporter, however, Nautilus will take a different approach to the source material. In this version, the series will focus on the origin story of Captain Nemo, an Indian prince who became a prisoner of the East India Company and subsequently put together a crew on the Nautilus bent on seeking revenge, along the way they'll of course discover magical lands and battle plenty of sea monsters.   

“Jules Verne’s story is a beloved classic all around the world,” said executive producer Johanna Devereaux, while revealing the series at the 2021 Edinburgh TV Festival today. “It’s a huge privilege to bring the Nautilus and her crew to life again in such a bold, exciting way, with a diverse team of creative talent and on-screen characters. The series will be breathtaking, action-packed and a huge amount of fun.”

James Dormer (Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands) will write Nautilus as well as executive produce. The series is part of Disney+’s expansion into the European market. The streaming service has already announced more than 13 projects from Europe and plans to have 50 productions commissioned by 2024.

No news yet on casting, when Nautilus will go into production, or a Disney+ debut date.

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