Tuesday, 18 May 2010

You had me at "David Fincher to direct"

Well this is an interesting one. The remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has been floating around for a while, and for good reason. As impressive as the Kirk Douglas classic was in 1954, and as outraged as fans of the original will be, this is good material for a modern update.

My interest in this film had been growing for a while until a simple, three letter name completely ruined everything; McG. Oh McG, we tried to give you a chance, we really did. You were given a summer tentpole and the opportunity to breathe new life into a classic franchise. We ignored your awful track record and your STUPID NAME (I honestly don't know what's wrong with Joseph McGinty) but you blew it and then you attached your name to 20,000 Leagues. I have never been so certain that a director would make a hash of his source material as McG and 20,000 Leagues, and when I heard that he was pursuing Will Smith as Captain Nemo my heart sank completely (don't even get me started on Hollywood's complete refusal to cast actors of Indian or Arabic origin in the roles they were literally born to play).

Anyway, thankfully this didn't work out and the project appeared to be in the doldrums for a while until this week we heard that David Fincher was attached to direct the film AND that Fox was planning a rival production to Disney's remake (the original novel is in the public domain). Its pretty obvious that whichever one of these films gets released first is going to be the winner as previous releases of near identical films would suggest but the mention of Fincher has really peaked my interest in the Disney project.

Fincher has never once made a film that wasn't at least entertaining (damn right I'm including Alien 3 in that) and has always had a unique and exciting visual style. I don't think doing The Social Network was a particularly good move, but I could yet be proved wrong. I just feel with the increasing unpopularity and controversy surrounding Facebook's privacy issues that Mark Zuckerberg's story is just one I don't really want told. I'd just love to see what Fincher does with a different kind of big budget film. Sure he's handled the cutting edge (Benjamin Button) and franchises (Alien 3 wasn't a bad film, dammit!) but 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea could be something very different, and, potentially, very fun. I'll be watched to see how all this pans out.

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