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“Nemo” gets new screenwriter, subs & costumes to be displayed in San Diego

“Nemo” gets new screenwriter, subs & costumes to be displayed in San Diego

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If you were listening carefully yesterday, you might have heard an enormous sigh of relief coming from the 20K fan community as word began to spread that Randall Wallace had been hired to rewrite Bill Marsilii & Justin Marks’ script for “Captain Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

For those of you who don’t already know: “Captain Nemo” is this rather high profile project at the Mouse House. Envisioned as both a re-imaging and a prequel to Disney’s 1954 live-action classic, “Captain Nemo” already has a director (McG, fresh off “Terminator: Salvation”) and a producer (Sean Bailey, who’s currently riding herd on the “Tron” continuation) attached.

But as for Bill Marsilii’s script for “Captain Nemo” … When reviews for Marsilii’s May 2008 draft of this screenplay began popping up on the Web back in January, they were almost universally negative. ISEB.net actually closed out its script review by saying that “ … Jules Verne is spinning in his grave.” Which isn’t exactly what you'd call a ringing endorsement.

Wild Wild West Poster
Copyright 1999 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved

And then when word began to leak that McQ reportedly wanted Will Smith to play "Nemo" 's title character, 20K fans grew concerned that Disney was going to wind up with another “Wild Wild West” on its hands. As in: A once-promising project that – due to execs’ desire to create a sure thing, a guaranteed summer blockbuster that would then lend itself to sequels – eventually wound up being this bloated mess that barely recovered its production costs .

The upside is … Disney Studio executives clearly share some of the same concerns that 20K fans have about Bill’s take on this material. Which is why the screenwriter of “Braveheart” and “Pearl Harbor” (Which – FYI -- Mickey already had on the payroll. Wallace is supposed to begin directing “Secretariat” for Disney in late September) has been tapped to rework Marsilii’s script. To put “Captain Nemo” back on course, if you will.

Of course, if these suits really want Randall’s screenplay to be faithful to the style & spirit of Disney’s Academy Award-winning film, might I suggest that they get one of these beauties for Wallace’s desk?

Nautilus Model 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Copyright eFX Inc. / Disney. All Rights Reserved

Produced by the nice folks at eFX Inc., this 1/45th scale model of the Nautilus has an almost insane level of detail. Because this collectible is four feet long, it can feature re-creations of Nemo’s plush salon as well as the wheelhouse. And did I mention that the finished version will have external & internal lighting?

Now the bad news … While this limited-edition collectible will be on display in Booth 2913 E at Comic-Con International later this month as well as at the first-ever D23 Expo (which will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center September 10th – 13th), eFX Inc. doesn’t actually expect to ship any Nautili until some time in early 2010.

And speaking of D23 … The Official Community for Disney Fans revealed yesterday that it too would be taking part in this year’s Comic-Con. To be specific, D23 will be setting up a display in Booth 3917 at the San Diego Convention Center. This “Heroic and Robotic” exhibition (which has been created exclusively for the 2009 Comic-Con International) will feature props and costumes from such classic Disney films as “Tron” …

Tron Costume
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

... and other notable Mouse House motion pictures like “The Black Hole,” “Sky High,” “Condorman” and “The Rocketeer.”

Rocketeer costume
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

D23 members should definitely make a point of dropping by Booth 3917. Not just because they’ll then be able to get a sneak preview of the D23 Expo as well as the Fall issue of Disney twenty-three magazine. But also because – if they flash their membership card as well as a photo ID – they’ll then be able to pick up a free litho designed by Disney master artist Dave Pacheco.

A word of warning, though: There is only a limited number of these lithographs. More to the point, they’re a Comic-Con exclusive. And once the last one has been picked up by D23 charter members, they're gone.

But the good news is the Official Community for Disney Fans will be allowing folks who attend this year’s convention to sign up for D23 over the course of this four-day-long show. So if you see Dave’s limited edition litho and then absolutely have to have it … Well, there is a way.

And don’t forget to bring your wallet when you head on out for San Diego. For be it submarines or lithographs, there’s sure to be something that you’ll come across at this year’s Comic-Con that you’re gonna wanna buy.

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  • McG? Terminator Salvation was an utter mess. Clearly whoever set this project up has taken the wrong road. I predict either a bomb or lots and lots of editing to come up with something mediocre.

  • So Will Smith will be playing the Hindu son of the Rajah of Bundelkund?

    Ummm, okay.

  • Nemo?  I thought Pixar wasn't doing a sequel to that movie.

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