When we think back on the career of Russell Crowe, some movies will immediately come to mind. There’s, of course, Gladiator which told one of the greatest epic movie stories ever. There’s American Gangster, 3:10 to Yuma and A Beautiful Mind. All great movies in their own right. But one of his more overlooked films is now getting a reboot as part of a possibly budding franchise, two decades after the first came out. That’s right, Deadline is reporting that Master and Commander is going to get another story around Russell Crowe’s character.
Now, before we get too excited here, know that this new Master and Commander will be a prequel to the original. In this way, we probably won’t see Russell Crowe back for the movie. Instead, someone will be cast to play the younger version of Captain Jack Aubrey, the dude who pushed his ship to the absolute limits. According to the latest reporting, the script is being handled by Patrick Ness and will be adapt from the same book series the original took its story. There’s no word on who will helm or star in the film.
The original Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World starred Russell Crowe as the aforementioned Aubrey, a brash British captain patrolling the high seas during the early 19th Century. It is partly a cat-and-mouse chase in the ocean during the Napoleonic Wars, but more an exploration into the ship (the Surprise) and now Aubrey commands during this time. It’s a period piece through and through, detailing life in the British Navy during this time, a noble pursuit for all its danger. The film was beautifully shot and Crowe is excellent in the lead role.
In addition to the backdrop of the Napoleonic War and the relative danger of working aboard these ships during this time, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was also about the friendship between Russell Crowe as Aubrey and Paul Bettany as the ship’s surgeon Stephen Maturin. Apparently, according to Deadline, this new version of the movie will establish the beginning of their friendship and how it is they become so close, something we see in the original movie.
Whether this next Master and Commander has the same budget as the original remains to be seen. The latter used about $150 million dollars to put together the world of the boat and the open seas. It took back *only* $211 million at the box office, which wasn’t anywhere close to the goal. That being said, it was up for a ton of awards that year. Though Russell Crowe didn’t get a nod, Peter Weir was nominated for Best Director with the production winning for Best Cinematography as well as Sound Editing. It was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Editing as well.
As for Russell Crowe, he’s set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year when he plays Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder. That makes him a veteran of both comic book studios after playing Jor-El in Man of Steel. So he’s still got plenty on his plate but isn’t likely to be part of this next Master and Commander movie.