Hollywood is a fickle beast. In the span of mere months the remake wonderland has gone from one new version of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to none (Disney gave the ax to McG's take on the sci-fi classic) and now back up to two. Over the weekend, Disney revealed that they were indeed still interested in the adventures of Captain Nemo and that they were currently in the process of locking down David Fincher in the director's chair. If all goes to plan, Scott Z. Burns (Bourne Ultimatum) will be penning the script.
Someone at 20th Century Fox took their rival's announcement as a challenge, it seems, as a day later they too revealed a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea film in works. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox would like to get Wanted's Timur Bekmambetov on board to direct a script from Clash of the Titans' Travis Beacham. Ridley and Tony Scott's Scott Free productions would be a part of the producing team.
Will both films make it to market? I'm fairly doubtful. A high-profile film like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will need to bank heavily on big budget spectacle and I'd be surprised if either studio were willing to commit $150 million or more to a project that was getting a similar treatment at a competing studio. More than likely what will happen is whichever studio is slower to the start line will end up dropping out completely. Disney may have announced their project first, but it appears that Fox has been developing their Leagues film on the sly since the writer's strike, so a completed script may be the decider here.