Bryan Singer's next project: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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Sep 17, 2015, 3:50 PM EDT

After directing two straight X-Men movies, Bryan Singer is taking a deep dive into a science fiction classic.

Singer announced today on Instagram that his next movie will be an adaptation of Jules Verne's early genre novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He posted a photo of the screenplay on the social networking site, writing in a caption, "It’s my 50th birthday (ouch), and I just put the finishing touches on the script for my next film. A story I’ve wanted to retell since childhood."

He added, "I promise this will be an epic and emotional adventure for all ages! An adventure very dear to my heart. Not abandoning the #xmen universe. Very excited about #xmenapocalypse and beyond. #julesverne #20000leaguesunderthesea #nemo."

Verne's novel, first published in serial form in 1869, begins with sightings of a "sea monster" that turns out to be a highly advanced (for its time) submarine, called the Nautilus and commanded by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Three survivors of an expedition that encountered Nemo's ship become both his prisoners and his guests, joining their host on a series of adventures as the Nautilus travels the globe under the waves.

The book has been adapted (or spun off from) numerous times for every medium, including the stage, the big screen, TV and comic books, but the best known version is still probably the 1954 film produced by Walt Disney, starring James Mason as Nemo and Kirk Douglas as harpoonist Ned Land.

Disney, in fact, has tried for many years to get a remake of its film off the ground, first hiring McG (Terminator: Salvation) and then David Fincher (Gone Girl) to direct. McG wanted Will Smith to play Nemo, while Fincher had approached Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum to star as Ned Land. Neither version, however, got out of the development process (even Sam Raimi got in the act at one point).

It's not clear whether Singer's version will go through Disney, but he certainly seems committed to making it his next film after X-Men: Apocalypse arrives on May 27, 2016.

Are you up for the idea of a new version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and do you think Singer can do a good job with it?

(via Collider)