McG Wants Will Smith for His 20,000 Leagues' Captain Nemo?

January 14, 2009
Source: Latino Review

Will Smith and Captain Nemo

A few weeks ago we reported the news that McG would be helming a remake of Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. While it is yet another Hollywood remake, I claimed that it could potentially be a pretty awesome movie, especially with McG directing. Although he has yet to redeem himself after the Charlie's Angels movies, I think McG has found his calling with grittier big budget movies rather than comedic ones. Although we weren't expecting to see this 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for quite a few more years, McG apparently let slip to Latino Review that he's looking to get Will Smith in the role as Captain Nemo.

"The character Nemo in this film is more about obsession, he is obsessed and people tend to forget that when you become so obsessed you end up being the villain," McG said. "I'm trying to get Will Smith to do it, been trying to get a hold of him. I've been wanting to work with him for a long time already." Of course, this isn't solid casting by any means, given McG probably hasn't even offered it to him yet, but it sounds like that's who he really wants. Personally, I like the idea, because Will Smith is still a great big budget actor. Despite he had two movies I really wasn't too fond of this year, I still think this could be a good fit for him.

So with that darker tone and potential dual role where he ends up fighting himself, would you like to see Will Smith in McG's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Or is there a better actor for Captain Nemo?

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Reader Feedback - 39 Comments


It could be a pretty terrific idea and a badass movie if mcg decided to go crazy with the sfx. Love the casting idea anyway ^^

chandleyr on Jan 14, 2009


Never thought I'd say this, but Will Smith is getting a little OLD NEWS. Of course, he'll probably be great in this role... But I can kinda see the humor style a mile away. Hope the movie's awesome, though!!

Harvey Harvey Harvey Dent on Jan 14, 2009


I'm all for giving people a chance on doing roles that challenge and speak to them. I'm all for giving directors a chance at expanding on a good screenplay, story and vision to create something new and different. But sometimes I wish things stayed the way they were. Why does Will Smith need to play Captain Nemo? They used an Indian Nemo in League of the Extraordinary Gentlemen and it worked but that movie was all over the board alternative. In my opinion unless the character, the story and the production requires something new...leave it alone. But hey..i'm not producing or directing it!

Darren on Jan 14, 2009


bad choice....

Tomi on Jan 14, 2009


Nemo was from India. I like Will Smith, but he's definitely not Indian. I think he'd look silly with the big Nemo beard anyway.

Crapola on Jan 14, 2009


Indian as in from India. Not Indian as in First Nations Indian. Just so you know.

Darren on Jan 14, 2009


Terrible choice. Will Smith???? @5 You're right! I agree!

Blue Silver on Jan 14, 2009


CONTINUETY vs. $$$$ Good for you Crapola and Darren! This is just Bad, Hell even LOEG got it right. Poor choice.

Tim "Cloverfield" on Jan 14, 2009


You know, I thought the same when they casted him for I Am Legend, and he did a great job. I think this would be a great opportunity to see Smith get a bit darker/crazier playing Nemo.

Nick Sears on Jan 14, 2009


are you high??? what happend with McG

GrowthHormoneSupplement on Jan 14, 2009


what's next? will smith playing santa ? or how about will smith playing ghandi? heck, lets just put WS in every movie from now on. i think this is a horrible idea. he's an "ok" actor but is starting to do waaaaaaaay to many movies.

dan on Jan 14, 2009


Every single will smith movie Ive seen in the last 13 years has been CRAP!! A huge disappointment, stop casting will smith!!!!!! I would actually like to see a documentary about one of my favorite actors and comedians of all time, Mr. Bill Cosby. And since Mickey Rourke did such an outstanding job in the Wrestler, I think he would be perfect for it, he could pull it off I think.

dadadada on Jan 14, 2009


#12 I would like to see a Bill Cosby movie too, but only if played by Will Smith. /kidding...

Luis M on Jan 14, 2009


I guess this proves that nothing is sacred anymore. Dan and Dada, that is really funny.

D-9 on Jan 14, 2009


Sorry, but he is a terrible choice. Nemo is an older man. I think though Smith still has unbelivable drawing power, but not as much as we expected. SEVEN POUNDS which relied on his face alone will close with about $70M and that is a lot of money off of just his name. While it is no $100M that is still extremly impressive.

Ryan on Jan 14, 2009


Unless the want to make a mockery of 20000 Leagues, they need to keep Will Smith out - Wild Wild West.

movie watcher on Jan 14, 2009


Nothing against Will Smith but I just dont picture him as Captain Nemo come on.

JimD on Jan 14, 2009


it's going to be a shitty movie anyway!

avi on Jan 14, 2009


I think Will would pull this off nicely just think of the depth he would bring to this character i think it would be great.

werdnafaz on Jan 15, 2009


McG is showing promise with Terminator Salvation, but he should stay the fuck away from Twenty-Thousand Leagues. Not only is Disney doing it, but they're focusing on an origin story, which takes away from the classic a slight bit; but he wants an American to play Nemo. My six year old brother wouldn't be stupid enough to even make a joke remotely close to that. Nemo should be played by a person from India, it's how the story is truly told. I'm loving how Terminator Salvation looks, but if I could meet him, I'd tell him he's a moron for these calls.

Kenneth Van Castle on Jan 15, 2009


They should definitely go with an Indian if they are only looking at Hollywood then Naveen Andrews would be great and if they look to India the possibilities (Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Amitabh Bachan etc) are endless.

SKD on Jan 15, 2009


Wild wild West II?? AWESOME!? Yay! jk. Will should learn from that Mistake and bring an entirely different element to this pic if he does it.

j money on Jan 15, 2009



Smart Guy on Jan 15, 2009


Since Captain Nemo is from India in the story wouldn't it be a real novel idea to cast someone from oh I don't know India. There's over a billion Indians out there so I'm sure they can fine someone to fit the bill. I like Will Smith he's a great actor but I think this will be another Wild wild west.

Mike on Jan 15, 2009


So what they saying is.. "we haven't spoken to him.. but we would like him to play the role". Wow.. looks like they hoping the rumor mill will twist that as it gets passed along, into 'Will Smith has signed on for our movie', in an sad attempt to generate some buzz for the movie so they can get the project off the ground. Kind of shady, but hey whatever will breath some life into a project that is probably stuggling to get of the ground. Raise your hand if you read the book, or seen the previous movie... hmmm thought so. Two people in the back row were forced to read it in school and can't remember what the hell it was about.

Web Based Training on Jan 16, 2009


got my hand up Web! (2nd row stage left side)

D-9 on Jan 17, 2009


Me too Webbers! 5th row center ( the display at Disneyland scared the shit out of me back in the day) Do you think they will use the chimp again?

Tim "Cloverfield" on Jan 17, 2009


Will Smith would be a good choice for the Ned Land part originally played by Kirk Douglas but I'd like to see Pierce Brosnan or Liam Neeson as Nemo with Anthony Hopkins as the Professor.

The Juice on Jan 19, 2009


as he was supposed to be a mideast kinda guy, wouldn't any one of a number of massive bollywood leading men be more suitable? or even english/american/etc stars of indian/pakistani/etc descent? there's enough of them. Plus it would get you quite a few more tickets sold amongst both the indian and immigrant(-descent) markets πŸ™‚

tahrey on Jan 20, 2009


All I can say is what the Fuck? Are you kidding me. Will Smith again. This is Pure bullshit like Speilberg wanting to remake Oldboy with Will Smith. Both movies will suck ass. Hey maybe in a few years they can remake American Gangster and cast Paul Reubens in the lead. Or maybe someone could remake Gladiator and cast Jet Li in the lead role. GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK.........................

ObiWop on Jan 22, 2009


Every big budget director wants Will Smith for their lead. He's the biggest star in Hollywood. McG saying that he wants Will Smith as the male lead in his movie is not news.

Bronson on Jan 23, 2009


I just read a powerful article about Will Smith at The article was wonderfully written and showed a different side of him. It discussed in detail his approach to life and commitment to improving the community. It’s an engaging, thought provoking article that gave me a new found level of respect for him.

Kendall Weddington on Jan 24, 2009


Will Smith rocks, but he must stay away from roles requiring him to act like the "funny black guy", such as MIB, WWW, BB. He's so more than that. Seven pounds, I robot, I am legend, are the kind of movies he should do. Heck, Will can even play a white character, like he did on Hancock, dunno much about it, but it seemed a role for a white character, and he plays it so nice that you can't even think of anyone else for the job. However, I can't really see him as the bad guy, but then again, back in time nobody thought that Arnold would make such a cool bad guy on Terminator 1.

David on Feb 1, 2009


I know Will is a little over exposed, but that's what happens when u make the Academy-list , (Will is a great actor btw) overexposure, the best way to overcome that is to do a variety of different roles. Will is OVERDUE however to play a real EVIL character -- I think if he does something outside the box and what we've come to expect from him, that will be his next great movie. *Sigh* Unfortunately, when these actors become family men they want to make family friendly movies -- but WILL time to play a serial killer, ruthless mob boss, dirty cop, ... I say serial killer ... that would *shock* everyone!

Rob on May 19, 2009


I think Will Smith would be a bad choice. He might be a good actor, but I'd prefer let's say Amitabh Bachan as Nemo. I think he'd be perfect! Naseeruddin Shah was good too, but lacked a certain elegance and presence....20.000 Leagues is my favorite book of all time, and I didn't like Caine's Nemo at all... πŸ™

Martiya Khvar on Jul 27, 2009


Seems to me the character was captured by James Mason in the original Disney version. Though I really enjoy Will Smith, I didn't find his version of Jim West in "Wild, Wild West" too convincing and a bit disapppointing. The orignial Disney version of 20,000 Leagues has many fans and going to extremes to remake this classic has a good chance of disappointing existing fans if the essence of the main characters is changed for the sake of changing. I can definitely see Will Smith as Ned Land.

Franco on Aug 17, 2009


what is the matter with you people, Will Smith will be awesome in that role........ who cares if he's not indian

Kris on Aug 20, 2009


'Coz you either want to make a book-based movie or something completly new. Just read the books! Will Smith as Nemo just doesn't feel right to me. I liked the old Disney version too, but I also hope they might by chance make a new version worth seeing.

Martiya Khvar on Aug 22, 2009


For several years I have been hoping to see plans for this great story to be remade. [ after the LOTR trilogy ] I thought Peter Jackson should be given the project. Will Smith as Nemo!!??....SORRY, please READ the book and that would settle any arguments in Will Smith being cast as this intensely dark and conflicted figure. I don't recall him being Indian [remember him as a wealthy European colonist [french??, who got jailed and tortured by the British government and his wife and family were murdered. As for the role of Nemo? Someone more seasoned, older and maybe European? I always thought Sean Connery but hey ......that was "Red October" Perhaps Bill Nighy? Clive Owen? even Russell Crowe to name a few. Let's not forget the 'star' of the story The Nautilus. It would take someone really creative to come close to the design of the submarine of the 1954 classic.

jimee on Dec 27, 2009

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