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McG's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Trumps His Superman Movie

Illustration for article titled McGs 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Trumps His Superman Movie

Now that McG is on the big Terminator ticket, is it time for him to start taking on the next American hero, Superman, or is the next big Hollywood hero Will Smith as Captain Nemo?


At a private press roundtable at New York Comic Con, McG spilled the details on the next projects he's got his eyes on. He's pretty dead-set on getting Will Smith signed on as the younger (and less damaged) Nemo, and he's even talking plot details... But now that he's conquered the fear of flying which sadly cost him his directing gig for the last Superman movie (as the movie was to be shot in Australia), is it time for him to think about upgrading America's boy scout? Check out what McG's Supes would be like and what baby Nemo will be like.

Are you willing to take another shot at Superman now that they are rebooting it again?


I talk to JJ [Abrams] a lot about that. We went through a lot on that whole thing, I don't know. I talk to the DC guys, [President Paul] Levitz is here and I just saw Greg. Food for thought. I think it's a great character, I would want to make the character infinitely more dark and complicated, and get away from the big Blue Boy Scout a little bit and get into the alien among us. And how that could be lonely and interesting. It's not that I would make it depressing, I'd would just make it a little tougher... Which I suspect people would respond to. We have the glorious Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, which to me is an excellent example. I like the Schumacher pictures and everything Burton did but it needed to be reinvented to some degree and I think we're all better for it. We're all happy it went that way at least. I haven't thought about it [editor's note...clearly].

The next picture I'm likely to make is 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Which is challenging, because it's got the classic literature roots and it's the film that Walt Disney sort of bet the farm on when he was only known for animation when he got involved in live action.

Do you have any news on that front? Do you have someone in mind?

I'm working on the script right now and I wouldn't go to an actor that I really respect until I have a script that I can fall on the sword for. You know how it is, I definitely like the idea of Will Smith. I've made that very clear. I like the idea of breaking down any racial barriers and taking the idea of what people perceive to be a period film and turning it on it's ear. And we have a few interesting way to deal with that as well. When the time is right with the script then I'll go to the actors. But there are very few great entertainers out there right now. I think you see what Downey did with Iron Man certainly what Johnny did with Pirates and it's not a long list, wouldn't you say?


Because I think he can handle it. It's basically a guy at war, with war itself. And I don't want it to be so dark as to be prophetsorial and to feel like a history lesson. It has to have a journey component to it so it makes you want to get out of your cubicle and your small life and go live in a world larger than your accustomed to. For that I think you need somebody to take you with them, and like I said that's a short list.

We've read about a few possible leaked scripts and what you described sounded very similar to what we've read. In what we read there was a lot of fighting and it felt very epic. Could you talk a little bit more about that, there seemed to be a lot of montage fighting scenes and great love?


It's not like that. We're developing just sort of, firstly a genesis story, how Nemo got to be. Where you look at the original picture and James Mason just enters [from the 1954 film] and he's already pissed off and underwater and what we want to do is show how he got there.

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I would see Will Smith as Nemo any day. I try not to hold old-timey pulp SF up on a pedestal, so things like 20,000 leagues can have Fresh Prince rock the submarine anytime.

Even better would be Will Smith as Captain Ahab.