Canceled Disney Sci-Fi Series Picked Up By AMC, Adapts Classic Adventure Story

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Shazad Latif in Nautilus

Disney+ is one of many streaming companies that has been tightening its belt in the last year, and that has resulted in more and more previously greenlit shows getting dropped. One of the more anticipated series that ended up getting the axe from the House of Mouse was Nautilus, which is designed to be a kind of origin story for the famous literary character Captain Nemo. However, Variety reports that this series was effectively saved from Davey Jones’ locker by AMC, and “AMC and AMC+ will now air the show as a special television event in 2024.”

The canceled Disney prequel series Nautilus has been picked up by AMC.

If names like “Nautilus” and “Captain Nemo” don’t ring any bells for you, it might be time to go renew your library card. The upcoming show takes its inspiration directly from the classic Jules Verne novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The book is considered a great work of science fiction that effectively predicted the future: the Nautilus is Captain Nemo’s special underwater vessel, and Verne’s vivid descriptions of its function in his tale (a tale first serialized in 1869) effectively predicted the role and function of our modern submarines.

Nautilus was designed as a 10-episode streaming series for Disney+, but AMC wants to situate it as a “special television event.”

In the original novel, the Nautilus was already a seasoned sea vessel and Captain Nemo was already a highly-experienced commander. The charm of the television series is that audiences will get to see how the mysterious Nemo (played by Star Trek: Discovery’s Shazad Latif) got his start.

He is already a complex figure, though, with the show’s official description of Nemo describing him as “an Indian Prince robbed of his birthright and family, a prisoner of the East India Mercantile Company and a man bent on revenge against the forces that have taken everything from him.”

Nautilus was designed as a 10-episode streaming series for Disney+, but AMC wants to situate it as a “special television event.” According to Ben Davis (who currently serves as executive vice president of original programming for both AMC Studios and AMC Networks), these adventures of Captain Nemo should fit right in with the current slate of AMC programming.

Shazad Latif
Shazad Latif in Star Trek: Discovery

Specifically, he labeled Nautilus “a big, sweeping drama that is sure to appeal to fans of our Anne Rice Immortal Universe and other buzzy and fan-forward series like Orphan Black: Echoes.”

Reading between the lines, it seems that AMC wants to establish itself as a reliable home for genre entertainment that isn’t afraid to take big swings and engage in a bit of fan service. Basically, if you’re already digging the misadventures of vampires and clones, then the mysterious Captain Nemo should fit right in. Call this deal a win/win all around: Disney gets to cut their costs, AMC gets a new show, and fans get to experience an interesting show that might have been lost to the depths.

While Star Trek: Discovery hasn’t been everyone’s cup of tea, Shazad Latif did a great job portraying a man caught between two worlds. It sounds like he’s going to bring that energy to Nautilus, and if so, we’re interested to see what happens when this actor leaves the depths of space for the depths of the ocean. No firm release date has been announced, but you’ll be able to watch the adventures of Captain Nemo sometime in 2024.