Disney+ epic ‘Nautilus’ sets sail for Queensland

James Mason as Captain Nemo in Disney's 1954 film '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'.

Disney+ 10-part live-action drama Nautilus will be casting off for the shores of Queensland early next year.

Developed and co-produced by UK companies Moonriver TV and Seven Stories, the sci-fi adventure series is based on Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, telling the origin story of anti-hero Captain Nemo and his legendary submarine, The Nautilus.

An Indian Prince robbed of his birth right and family, Nemo is a prisoner of the East India Company and a bent on revenge against the forces which have taken everything from him.  

But once he sets sail with his ragtag crew on board the awe-inspiring The Nautilus, he not only battles with his enemy, but he also discovers a magical underwater world, learns to take his place as leader of the crew, and goes on an unforgettable adventure beneath the sea. 

Disney+ director of scripted original content at Disney+ Johanna Devereaux said Jules Verne’s story was a beloved classic.

“It’s a huge privilege to bring the Nautilus and her crew to life again in such a bold, exciting way, with a diverse team of creative talent and on-screen characters. The series will be breath-taking, action-packed, and a huge amount of fun,” Deveraux said.

Developed and co-produced by Moonriver TV’s Xavier Marchand and Seven Stories’ Anand Tucker, Nautilus is written and executive produced by James Dormer (Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands) and Devereaux.

Production is expected to begin in early 2022 at Village Roadshow Studios and on location around Queensland, lasting for several months. The project is expected be visual effects-heavy, requiring large scale set construction and use of the studios’ three water tanks.

The series is due to receive $23.3 million in assistance from the Federal Government’s Location Incentive program, with the expectation it generate $172 million for the local economy, create 290 cast and crew roles, 2,200 extra roles, and the use of 200 service businesses.

“The Morrison Government’s $540 million Location Incentive program is working very effectively to support the Australian screen sector to take advantage of the global boom in high-end content production, attracting substantial international series like Nautilus to our shores alongside Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives, and Ticket to Paradise starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts,” said Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher.

To be filmed in Queensland at Village Roadshow Studios and on location from early 2022, the Disney+ production is also funded by the Queensland Government via Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy.

“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,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“Supporting the screen industry and luring big budget productions here through our Production Attraction Strategy is a critical part of our Economic Recovery Plan.”