Disney is turning to a classic science fiction novel for one of its upcoming shows. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has greenlit a ten-episode series called Nautilus for its streaming service, a new take on Jules Verne’s classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
According to THR, the story will be an origin story about Captain Nemo and his submarine. In his original novel, Verne follows the plight of Professor Pierre Aronnax, a scientist who was part of a scientific expedition to track down a previously unknown creature. He and the crew set off for the Pacific, and encounter the monster only to realize that it’s a submarine. They’re attacked and captured, where they meet Captain Nemo, an Indian prince and inventor who created the futuristic submarine, the Nautilus. He was an explorer, an engineer, and a polyglot, who desired to exact revenge against the British Empire and other imperialistic regimes.
THR notes that the series will depict him as an “Indian prince robbed of his birthright and family” who had been taken prisoner by the East India Trading Company, and who “set sail with his ragtag crew on board the awe-inspiring vessel, battling foes and discovering magical underwater worlds.”
This isn’t the first time that Disney has adapted Verne’s novel: it did so in 1954, in a film that starred Kirk Douglas as Ned Land and James Mason as Captain Nemo, and there have been plenty of other adaptations over the years. Interestingly, Disney isn’t the only upcoming adaptation that takes a new look at Nemo: Realm (formerly Serial Box) announced earlier this year that it would be releasing a series called Nemo in September, written by Samit Basu, Mimi Mondal, Shiv Ramdas, and Achala Upendran, which will focus on Nemo as he “takes on empires.”
Disney’s series was developed co-produced by Xavier Marchand of Moonriver TV and Anand Tucker of Seven Stories, and executive produced by James Dormer and Johanna Devereaux, with production set to start sometime in 2022. There’s no word on directors, cast, or a firm release date as of yet.