Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Master And Commander prequel in the works for uncultured children who didn't appreciate first movie

Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany
Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany
Photo: Carlo Allegri (Getty Images)

At the very beginning of this year, a guy on Twitter suggested that Peter Weir’s 2003 film Master And Commander was a good way to put yourself to sleep, noting that he had never made it more than 10 minutes into the movie and tagging star Russell Crowe to ostensibly thank him for making what he believes to be a very boring movie. That prompted Crowe to respond with a comment about how “kids these days” don’t appreciate movies for “adults,” because he says Master And Commander is “brilliant” and an “exacting, detail-oriented, epic tale of fidelity to Empire and service, regardless of the cost.” Other Master And Commander fans who did not appear in the movie then joined in to support Crowe in his defense of the film, including Josh Gad, who referred to it as a “perfect movie.”

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Evidently, because the timing of this is wild, this exchange caught the eye of higher-ups at 20th Century (née Fox), who seem to have taken the wrong lesson from this sudden swell of support for Master And Commander and realized that this movie “for adults” made a fatal error: It’s for adults! According to Deadline, the studio has tapped YA author Patrick Ness—writer behind the Chaos Walking book series and its movie adaptation—to put together a script for a Master And Commander prequel movie. Weir’s Master And Commander (subtitled The Far Side Of The World) was based on a series of books by Patrick O’Brian, and Deadline suggests that the plan for this prequel will be to lift from the earliest elements of the ongoing saga. Specifically, that means it will likely be about the first meeting between Crowe’s character, Jack Aubrey, and his longtime BFF, naval surgeon Stephen Maturin (played by Paul Bettany in the other movie).

Deadline says that means it is “likely” that the studio will find “new talent” to play the young versions of Aubrey and Maturin, so this is absolutely being positioned as a new Master And Commander for people who didn’t necessarily like the other Master And Commander, because Crowe and Bettany were both great in that movie and one of the reasons fans would want more Master And Commander is to see more of Crowe and Bettany sailing around the known world and having thoughtful conversations about being adults. And yet 20th Century is here saying, “How about a movie about two other people doing something else?” We don’t know who made the monkey paw wish for this one, but we hope you’re happy.