'Smallville' Creators Sell 'Captain Nemo' Script to Sony, Joe Roth Producing (Exclusive)

Joe Roth
<p> Roth, the former chairman of 20th Century Fox and Disney Studios, has struck a deal to sell his historic Streamline Moderne home in Santa Monica to showbiz lawyer Jeanne Newman and Fox Television topper Gary Newman.</p>   |   Charley Gallay/Getty Images
Alfred Gough and Miles Millar tackle the iconic antihero who was first introduced to readers in 1870 in Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."

Columbia Pictures has bought Alfred Gough and Miles Millar's script Captain Nemo.

Sources say president of production Michael De Luca made a pre-emptive move for the spec, which offers a new take on the iconic antihero who was first introduced to readers in 1870 in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Nemo also appeared in the author's The Mysterious Island and Journey Through the Impossible. Nemo is a scientific genius who roams the depths of the sea in his submarine, The Nautilus, which was built on a deserted island.

Sony declined to comment.

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Joe Roth and Palak Patel are producing Captain Nemo. The pair have the Angelina Jolie starrer Maleficent in theaters now and are in preproduction on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland follow-up, Through the Looking Glass.

Gough and Millar will executive produce Captain Nemo.

Sony isn't the only studio interested in bringing the iconic character to the big screen. Disney has a Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea adaptation in development. David Fincher had been attached to direct, but he exited after he couldn't come to terms with Disney over the film's budget. Still, the Nemo character continues to entice tentpole-minded studios and is fair game for any creator given that the book is in the public domain. Disney already spawned a Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea theme park ride.

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Gough and Millar have worked with Sony before, penning a draft of Spider-Man 2. The pair's more recent film credits include I Am Number Four and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

They are repped by CAA.

E-mail: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com
Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27