Competing “20,000 Leagues” Films Coming

A few months ago filmmaker Bryan Singer got the green light for a new film adaptation of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” at 20th Century Fox.

Now, Deadline reports that Bliss Media is launching a rival project in the works, and on which they say already has a deal in place to release in China. Christophe Gans (“Silent Hill,” “Brotherhood of the Wolf”) will direct the sci-fi adventure. Timing is interest here as well with both projects planning to begin pre-production this Fall.

This raises the question of how the competing project might affect Fox’s release of their ‘Leagues’ in China, which will be the world’s biggest moviegoing market by next year. Bliss isn’t alone on their film either, with the likes of Wild Bunch, TF1 and Pathe all onboard to co-produce and distribute.

The Bliss version will also adapt the story for the local market with Ganes reportedly having already scouted different areas around Shanghai. The production is looking to cast two Chinese actors to play lead roles in the movie, and Verne’s narrative will be shifted to a Chinese setting with a “East-meets-West” visual aesthetic.