Get ready for a serious early 2000s flashback.
Deadline reports Hulu is developing a new take on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen alongside 20th Century Studios. The original film, released in 2003, was based on the comic book series by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill and featured a script from Starman and Stargirl writer James Dale Robinson. It is also perceived as one of the bigger flops of the pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe era and a major contributing factor to Moore’s distaste for Hollywood.
The original League miniseries saw an ancestor of James Bond assembling a team consisting of Allan Quatermain, Mina Murray, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll, and Invisible Man Hawley Griffin to combat the curious threat to Her Majesty’s steampunk empire posed by Fu Manchu and Professor Moriarty. In the film re-imagining of the story, Quatermain, Mina Harker, Nemo, Jekyll, and a legally distinct Invisible Man who was emphatically not Hawley Griffin faced off against “The Fantom” in a mess of filmmaking so misguided, it led to Sean Connery retiring and director Stephen Norrington‘s exile from the helm of any future projects.
This time around, Revolutionary Road‘s Justin Haythe is writing the script for producers Susan Montford, Erwin Stoff, and Don Murphy — the producer of the first LXG.
The dire critical and commercial performance of that film makes this a risky project, but 20th has something in its favor it did not have last time: access to some Disney iconography. It is entirely possible to do a film with the Nautilus from Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for a nostalgia factor missing from Norrington’s movie and even the original comics. Granted, that would be about as cynical as adding Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer to the story, but it, at the very least, adds an interesting visual detail for the proceedings. And considering how much the original League story depends on the audience’s recognition of the characters, going all-in on recognizable screen versions of Nemo, Quatermain, and the others isn’t such a bad idea.