Alongside their already full slate of new adventures, Disney+ is taking us 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea… well, eventually. Unveiled at the Edinburgh TV Festival, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Disney has announced a prequel series to the famed Jules Verne tale, titled Nautilus. Produced by U.K. banners Moonriver TV and Seven Stories, the series will follow the infamous Captain Nemo and his rise to power, detailing just how he came to own his legendary submarine, The Nautilus, and what adventures he embarks on before Verne’s novel begins.
Written and executive produced by James Dormer, Nautilus will follow Captain Nemo in his youth, as an “Indian prince robbed of his birthright and family,” who is a prisoner of the East India Company — the very same company hellbent on destroying Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean — and is determined to right the wrong that stole his life from him. The series will see Nemo battling foes and discovering “magical underwater worlds” with his ragtag crew aboard the Nautilus, surely proving to be an adventure worthy of the storybooks.
“Jules Verne’s story is a beloved classic all around the world,” said Johanna Devereaux, director of scripted original content for Disney+. “It’s a huge privilege to bring the Nautilus and her crew to life again in such a bold, exciting way, with a diverse team of creative talent and on-screen characters. The series will be breathtaking, action-packed and a huge amount of fun.”
This is far from the first time Disney has adapted the tale of Captain Nemo for the screen: the company’s 1954 adaptation of 20,000 Leagues (starring the late Kirk Douglas) was so successful that it inspired an attraction in Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, which remained open from the park’s debut in 1971 all the way until 1994. The film’s original sets were also used as a walkthrough attraction at Disneyland from 1955 to 1966, and a similar version of the walkthrough can be experienced at Disneyland Paris, titled Les Mystères du Nautilus.
Nautilus was unveiled as part of a multitude of announcements for Disney+ at the Edinburgh TV Festival, including two new series for Star, the European section of the platform offering more mature, R-rated offerings for audiences. The series will be produced by Xavier Marchand for Moonriver TV and Anand Tucker for Seven Stories, along with Dormer and Devereaux.