“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” directed by David Fincher, hasn’t yet started shooting yet, but Scott Z. Burns has big plans for the film adaptation. Burns, who is writing the screenplay with Fincher, talked with Cinema Blend on Aug. 28 about the film’s progress.
While Burns is keeping quiet about what precisely is in store for the film, he noted the scope of the movie could be quite big, in keeping with Jules Verne’s novel and the previous film and television adaptations of the work.
Burns also suggested this version would not focus on offering a close adaptation. Instead, his job “isn’t to turn a book into a movie, it’s to be inspired by the book and then go write a movie.”
Central to this version of the story are three characters: Captain Nemo, with whom most movie fans are familiar from Disneys 1954 movie, French marine biologist Professor Pierre Aronnax, and harpoonist Ned Land.
“David and I had a really cool idea for the relationship between Nemo, and Aronnax and Land,” Burns told Eric Eisenberg of Cinema Blend. “That’s really what we kind of got into. But I think it’s very, very true to the spirit of the book.”
Burns also mentioned he hopes pre-production on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will begin spring 2012 but that a much pre-production work still needs to take place.
Of course, both Fincher and Burns have been busy on other film projects, Fincher is working on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the American adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel. Burns has been busy with two Steven Soderbergh movies: “Contagion,” the upcoming virus thriller, and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
For fans of the sci-fi world established by Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” Burns’ and Fincher’s project promises to realize some of the fantastic visuals found in the novel. Fincher has previously indicated the film will use CGI and motion capture.
Burns’ and Finchers’ focus on characters also hints that their “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” will address other characteristics of Verne’s work: his interests in obsession, loyalty, the conflict between humanity and science, and isolation.
Pittsburgh audiences can see Burns’ work on “Contagion” when it is released Sept. 9 at local movie theaters. Fans of David Fincher’s work will be able to see “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” when it comes out Dec. 26, 2011.
Look for both films to play at the AMC Loews Waterfront 22, with tickets available for online purchase at Fandango, as well as SouthSide Works Cinema and Waterworks Cinema 10.