Expect more updates about this story today, as the Terminator Salvation roadshow hits LA this afternoon (possibly without me in attendance. Sick as a dog and I need to get up on my Star Trekkin’ for next week. Priorities!). But the basic facts, such as they are, are this: at the NYC stop of the roadshow, Latino Review asked McG who he’d like to see play Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo, the prequel to the Jules Verne (and Disney) classic. McG’s response: he’s been trying to get in touch with Will Smith.
Setting aside the fact that you would hope a guy making a blockbuster at Disney could at least get Smith’s people on the line, I’m not sure how to take this. Setting aside racial issues (Nemo is Indian, and that heritage is a vital part of his ‘origin story’), I just don’t know if Smith has the proper darkness in him. Nemo is the villain of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea not because he’s evil but because his obsessive thirst for vengeance has driven him beyond the point of no return (from which he returns in Mysterious Island, but whatever).
If we’re fan casting (and McG is), I’d rather see someone Indian in the role, and someone whose profile won’t swamp the whole thing. I’d actually love to see Lost‘s Naveen Andrews in the part. He’s the right age, he has the smoldering intensity and he’s going to work for the picture, not make the picture work for him. I’ve heard good things about Captain Nemo (from a couple of people, none of whom actually read the script, so caveat), and I’d prefer to see this movie be good – and launch a new 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea trilogy – than be a July 4 blockbuster that nobody actually likes.
Maybe I will go to that T4 roadshow just to give McG a piece of my mind.