Moviegoers will soon find out what happened when Captain Jack Aubrey met Dr. Stephen Maturin.
Those novels inspired the 2003 epic “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” which nabbed 10 Oscar nominations and a boatload of great reviews when it opened in theaters. Peter Weir directed the film, which starred Russell Crowe as Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Maturin, but those roles will presumably be recast as both actors are a little long in the tooth to play young seamen — all “The Irishman” de-aging CGI in the world probably couldn’t pull off that miracle.
“Master and Commander” was originally designed to be a film franchise, with each new installment checking in with the dashing naval captain and the brainy ship surgeon as they navigated the Napoleonic Wars. However, those plans were scratched. Despite the film’s virtues, its $211.6 million box office gross was something of a commercial disappointment given its $150 million budget.
It’s early days on the new project. No director or cast have been attached so a lot could change and the film may never make it out of dry dock.
Ness is a novelist and screenwriter, best known for creating the “Chaos Walking” series. He adapted that project for the 2021 movie and also wrote the script for “A Monster Calls.” Ness is represented by CAA, literary agent Michelle Kass and attorney Behr Abramson Levy.
Deadline first reported that the “Master and Commander” prequel was in development.