With a classic franchise, an award-winning director and a studio looking for a blockbuster, on paper Disney's aborted remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea seemed like a perfect tentpole movie. But with his latest movie Gone Girl about to arrive theaters, David Fincher is telling the tale of why he abandoned the project.
In an interview with Little White Lies magazine (via The Hollywood Reporter), the acclaimed Social Network director laid the death of Leagues at the feet of Disney's own hit-hungry culture. "It became very hard to appease the anxieties of Disney’s corporate culture with the list of names that allowed everyone to sleep at night," he said of the production's search for a Brad Pitt-level star to anchor the adaptation. "I just wanted to make sure I had the skill-sets I could turn the movie over to. Not worrying about whether they’re big in Japan.
"The movie business is paid for by Big Macs. By movies as product," Fincher added. "Movie studios use that term ‘product’ all the time. Product? You mean you have a lot of stories? No, we have a lot of product."
Of course, with a legendary original film considered a Disney live-action classic, it's likely the studio will be working on a new version of the product before too long.