Speed Reads

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Another Master and Commander movie is finally on the way

In an answer to the prayers of Stephen Maturin fans everywhere, a new adaptation of Master and Commander is reportedly in development at 20th Century Fox, per Deadline

Patrick O'Brian's naval novels, set during the Napoleonic Wars, were first adapted by director Peter Weir in 2003 — also for 20th Century Fox — in a film that haters described as "boring" and real ones understood to be "one of the most overlooked masterpieces of all time." Regardless, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which drew on five books in the 20-book series, was a bit of a flop; no sequels were made despite the studio's ambitions for a franchise. Fans of the series have grumbled for years about the injustice.

While there's no news yet on the casting of Capt. Jack Aubrey, who was played by Russell Crowe in the 2003 film, or the physician Maturin, originally played by Paul Bettany, A Monster Calls author and screenwriter Patrick Ness is attached to write the script. The Far Side of the World primarily drew on the series' 10th book, and the new film will supposedly "be based on the first book in the series," Master and Commander, "which shows a young Aubrey as he is given his first command." 

Deadline further notes that "since this would be set in the early days of Aubrey, it's also likely they would have new talent playing Aubrey and Maturin as well," rather than have Crowe and Bettany return to their roles, which is a small but not insignificant tragedy. Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, however, floated the idea of putting "Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany in the new Master and Commander as older Spider-verse versions of those guys. Maybe from a dimension where Napoleon won? Lots of possibilities."