Everything We Know About The 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Prequel Series So Far

Who's ready to go 19,000 leagues under the sea? Disney has a "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" prequel series in the works, and the real title, "Nautilus," takes its name from the famous, green, narwhal-like submarine at the heart of the classic adventure tale. That sub was the basis of a beloved Disney theme park attraction at the Magic Kingdom, and a different ride themed to it still remains in operation at Tokyo Disney Resort.

"Nautilus" promises to take viewers on board the sub again with Captain Nemo before the events of Jules Verne's pioneering 1870 science fiction novel, "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas," which predicted the evolution of submarine technology and previously served as the source material for one of Disney's best live-action movies — an oldie but a goodie from 1954 featuring James Mason on the pipe organ as the imperious Nemo.

Here's what we know about the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" prequel series so far.

When and Where to Watch Nautilus

"Nautilus" doesn't have a premiere date yet, but this 10-episode live-action series will be exclusive to the Disney+ streaming service. The earliest reports in August 2021 indicated that it would go into production toward the beginning of 2022. We only heard the first casting news in November 2021 as part of the Disney+ Day promotional event. By that time, some reports were indicating that it would begin production in Australia in December 2021.

Since then, the seas have been silent and we haven't heard much on the status of "Nautilus," but given the production timeline of previous Disney+ shows, it's likely that this one will hit closer to 2023.

What We Think Nautilus Will Be About

The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news about "Nautilus," and it gave this synopsis of the series:

"The origin story of Captain Nemo and his legendary submarine, the Nautilus. An Indian prince robbed of his birthright and family, a prisoner of the East India Company, and a man bent on revenge against the forces that have taken everything from him, Nemo set[s] sail with his ragtag crew on board the awe-inspiring vessel, battling foes and discovering magical underwater worlds."

Based on that description, it sounds like "Nautilus" will ground itself in Nemo's point-of-view, similar to what "Maleficent" and "Cruella" did with the antagonists of "Sleeping Beauty" and "101 Dalmatians." This anchors "Nautilus" to a different dock than "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," which was told more from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax (Paul Lukas) and Kirk Douglas' stripe-shirted sailor, Ned Land, whose song, "A Whale of a Tale," was also featured in "Finding Nemo" (the Pixar film about a talking fish, no relation to the Nautilus captain.)

What We Know About the Nautilus Cast and Crew

For this new origin tale, Shazad Latif inherits the role of Captain Nemo from James Mason. Latif is known for playing the Klingon sleeper agent turned human security chief, Ash Tyler, on "Star Trek: Discovery," as well as the seductive jihadist, Bilel, in Timur Bekmambetov's Screen Life thriller, "Profile." He's an actor of Pakistani, English, and Scottish descent, which makes him a more culturally appropriate casting choice for the role of Nemo, who Verne retconned as East Indian in his 1875 novel, "The Mysterious Island."

"Nautilus" is written and executive produced by James Dormer. Johanna Devereaux is also executive producing for Disney+, while Xavier Marchand and Anand Tucker are co-producing for Moonriver TV and Seven Stories, respectively. Michael Matthews ("Love and Monsters") is on board to direct, and he's also attached to a live-action adaptation of the book series, "Merlin," for Disney.

Stay tuned to /Film for all the latest updates on "Nautilus."