Last year at this time we were talking about some of the various adaptations of Jules Verne’s classic, and public domain, adventure 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Well it turns out that one project we didn’t know about appears to be the one actually setting sail first.
British actor Hugh Bonneville has been cast as Captain Nemo in a new film from Shoreline Entertainment. Described in the Hollywood Reporter article that broke the news as a “steampunk tale,” the film will actually serve as a sequel to Verne’s original novel and will see Nemo joining forces with President Ulysses S. Grant to face off against an evil genius who is responsible for a series of maritime disasters.
The 3D film will be directed by Pearry Teo, who recently directed the direct-to-SyFy Channel Witchville In China.
While this does sound like a fun concept for a film, I’m sure that Verne purists will have some concerns. According to Verne’s sequel, The Mysterious Island, the literary Nemo is actually the descendant of an Indian sultan who had family members killed by the British during the 1857 Indian Mutiny. While I like Bonneville as an actor, it appears that this film will be continuing the filmic tradition of depicting Nemo as a European.
I wonder if the internet activists who had gotten upset with the Caucasian casting in The Last Airbender and the planned live action adaptation of the classic anime Akira will speak out about this as well.