EXCLUSIVE: Director Bryan Singer, who last fall teased on Instagram his hope to direct his childhood favorite novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, has closed his deal with 20th Century Fox to make the epic film his next picture. The studio now is moving toward a fall production start, and Singer will begin casting, full speed ahead. The adaptation of the Jules Verne novel has a script by Rick Sordelet & Dan Studney, based on a story by Singer and those writers. Singer will produce with Jason Taylor, who heads the director’s Bad Hat Harry Productions.
The picture puts Singer in position to launch another franchise at Fox, where he has locked X-Men: Apocalypse for a May 27 release. That gives him the chance to launch the picture while prepping so that Captain Nemo can take his ship The Nautilus on its deep-sea dive in early fall. It gives Emma Watts another big picture on the slate.
I’ve confirmed the deal is now done and got a statement from Singer. “I’m incredibly excited to be working with my friends at Fox, with whom I’ve had such a long and fruitful relationship,” he said. “Ever since I was a boy and first discovered the 1870 Jules Verne novel, I have dreamt of retelling this classic story. Without revealing too much, it contains not only the original characters of Captain Nemo, Ned Land and Professor Aronnax, but also some new and original characters and Sci Fi plot twists culminating in a timeless adventure for all ages.”
Singer is repped by WME and attorney Dave Feldman, as are the writers.