First Jack Sparrow and Thor – now Captain Nemo is setting sail for Queensland

There’s been Captain Jack Sparrow and Thor, now entertainment behemoth Disney are bringing Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo back to life in the next blockbuster to be shot on the Gold Coast.

Aug 24, 2021, updated Aug 24, 2021
Village Roadshow Studio’s three water tanks will be critical to this production of the new Nautilus series. (Photo: Supplied)

Village Roadshow Studio’s three water tanks will be critical to this production of the new Nautilus series. (Photo: Supplied)

Disney will shoot its next epic series based on Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on the Gold Coast from next year, racking up another big-budget production for Queensland.

The ten-part series called Nautilus will begin shooting at Village Roadshow Studios and locations around the Gold Coast, injecting around $96 million into the Queensland economy and creating more than 240 jobs.

The family classic, which was made into a 1954 Disney film, will chart the never-before-told origin story of Captain Nemo and his legendary submarine The Nautilus and be screened on streaming giant Disney+.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said Village Roadshow’s filming tanks and the skill of local crews shooting in water were among the reasons Disney chose to film the series in Queensland.

“Nautilus will be a complex production requiring the construction of large-scale sets, together with heavy visual effects and a highly technical set-up for computer-generated creatures and worlds – it’s an epic project on a large scale, scheduled to film in Queensland for many months,” Munnich said.

“In addition to its sound stages, Village Roadshow Studio’s three water tanks will be critical to this production, alongside expert local crew who are particularly experienced with water work.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the series would be screened to a massive global audience. After shooting earlier movies in Queensland, the latest Disney series had the potential to continue for multiple seasons, she said.

“The Walt Disney Company filmed Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Queensland, as well as Thor: Ragnarök via their subsidiary Marvel Studios, so we are thrilled that one of the biggest names in the global screen industry has once again chosen our state,” she said.

The series is the latest production lured to Queensland through the State Government’s Production Attraction Strategy and the federal Location Incentive Program.

Among the raft of television series and movies currently in production in Queensland is Universal Studios Group’s Joe Exotic at Brisbane’s Screen Queensland Studios, Rock Island Mysteries for Fremantle Australia, the Netflix biopic True Spirit and new ABC Crime Series Troppo. Universal Pictures’ Ticket to Paradise, a romantic comedy starring Academy Award winners George Clooney and Julia Roberts will be shot in the Whitsundays, Gold Coast and Brisbane from November.

Earlier this year Ron Howard’s epic Thirteen Lives was filmed around the Gold Coast, along with Black Site, an American and Australian co-production starring Mission: Impossible’s Michelle Monaghan, while reality show Australian Survivor was filmed in Cloncurry.

Disney’s Director of Scripted Original Content, Johanna Devereaux, said Nautilus was a reimagining of Verne’s tale that would introduce it to a new generation.

She said the series built on Walt Disney’s long history with the story which began with the 1954 film of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

Nautilus tells Verne’s story from Nemo’s point of view where he battles enemies, but then discovers a magical underwater world and takes off on an adventure beneath the sea.

“The series will be breath-taking, action-packed, and a huge amount of fun,” Devereaux said.

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