“Wolverine” Director James Mangold Signs on for “Captain Nemo”

James Mangold

James Mangold

“Wolverine” and “Walk the Line” director James Mangold is on board to direct “Captain Nemo” for Disney.

The film is based on the main antihero from the classic Jules Verne novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The Hollywood Reporter writes that the film will be an original story rather than a strict adaptation of the novel. Sebastian Gutierrez (“Elektra Luxx”) is working on the script.

Before Mangold agreed to take the reins, the film was set to be directed by David Fincher (“Gone Girl”). Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum were both rumored to star, but nothing materialized. Fincher explained why the plans for the film fell through in a statement to Little White Lies:

“You get over $200 million — all motion picture companies have corporate culture and corporate anxieties. Once we got past the list of people we could cast as the different characters in the film, once we got past one or two names which made them very comfortable, making a movie at that price, it became this bizarre endeavor to find which three names you could rub together to make platinum.”

20th Century Fox is also working on an adaptation of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” which Bryan Singer (“X-Men: Apocalypse”) is set to direct, write and produce. That film is aiming for a 2017 release, but a release date for “Captain Nemo” has not been announced.

Disney previously adapted the novel into film in a 1954 movie of the same name. That film was directed by Richard Fleischer and stared Kirk Douglas, James Mason and Paul Lukas. In that film, Captain Nemo, a mysterious genius who traversed the ocean with his submarine, was played by Mason.

Mangold is currently at work on the “Wolverine” sequel, as well as a film about actress Ingrid Bergman and photographer Robert Capa. Mangold is also known for directing “3:10 to Yuma,” “Kate and Leopold,” and “Knight and Day.”