According to Variety, Disney has put David Fincher’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on hold for three months while they decide whether they want to make it or not. In a way, it’s understandable considering the size of the investment, but Fincher might have a trick up his sleeve in frequent collaborator Brad Pitt. It’s reported that the director is hunting down the actor (who’s appeared in three other Fincher films) to take on the harpooning role played by Kirk Douglas in the 1954 version of Jules Verne’s novel.
The question becomes whether that will be enough to grab the greenlight. Here’s the funny thing: neither Fincher nor Pitt are necessarily known for bringing in massive amounts of cash. That may seem counterintuitive considering Pitt’s profile especially, but neither are huge money earners despite critical acclaim and a metric ton of tabloid covers.
If it did move the needle for Disney, the next question becomes whether Pitt is really right for the role. The novel describes Canadian master harpooner Ned Land as peerless and possessing “an uncommon quickness of hand.” He’s a large man, “taciturn [and] occasionally violent.” That combination of stoicism and rage could be a fantastic challenge for Pitt who, for the most part these days, usually plays himself with Clooney-like ease. With Fincher making him do 99 takes for every scene, it could get Brando on set really quick, and that could create something amazing. Let’s hope Disney feels like taking a risk.