According to a report in Deadline, 20th Century Studios is developing a new Master and Commander film, almost two decades after the release of 2003’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
The new film will be written by Patrick Ness, who previously wrote the 2016 film A Monster Calls and, most recently, the film Chaos Walking, which was an adaptation of his own book, The Knife of Never Letting Go.
The original film starred Russell Crowe as Capt. Jack Aubrey, who was in charge of a British vessel in pursuit of a French warship. The film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Peter Weir. The film has gained even more appreciation over the years since its release, and since Master and Commander was an adaptation of a book in Patrick O’Brian‘s long-running series, the original film was intended to be the first of several movies based on O’Brian‘s books.
Deadline also said that while Ness is writing the project, no director or actors are attached to the new film yet. However, Deadline also said that it is likely the film could be based on the first book in the series, which would focus on a younger version of Aubrey.
For his part, Crowe has been on board with the idea of making another film in the series. Back in 2016, Crowe told Collider about how he would love to see in a follow-up film:
I think it’s just something you need to talk to the studio about because the possibility of doing another one is there, and even though I’m not contracted to it, I’d love to play that character again, because after playing that character I kept reading the books, and there are so many wonderful stories. But that was a very expensive movie for its time, so that’s something that has to be examined. Something else that’s difficult is you also have the estate of Patrick O’Brian, you have the original studio, which I think was Samuel Goldwyn, then you have Fox, who was the principal studio that made it, but they made it in partnership with Universal and Miramax. So it’s very complex to try and get those people on the same page and working towards a second one. Not that I’m trying to do that, but I get asked this question quite a lot.
Following that interview, a year later, Crowe dropped hints about a sequel, with the actor posting on Twitter that “for the Aubrey Maturin lovers, I do hear whispers indeed that a second voyage is perhaps potentially pre-proposed a possibility.”
It was all quiet waters since then, though it now seems like that long-awaited second voyage may finally be setting out to sea.