It has taken a long time to get going, but it looks like we are finally going to get a sequel to Peter Weir’s critically acclaimed 2003 epic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Hold the applause, everyone.
The Associated Press has reported that Russell Crowe has entered into early negotiations to star in the new film and that a script has already been written, based largely on The Reverse Side of the Medal, the eleventh book in Patrick O’Brian’s twenty book long Master and Commander series.
The plot of The Reverse Side of the Medal centers around HMS Surprise captain Jack Aubrey’s discovery of his own illegitimate son, a black Catholic priest named Samuel Panda, while on a journey into the Caribbean. The plot quickly turns to political intrigue as Aubrey is arrested on charges of insider trading.
The first movie in this series didn’t really do much for me. It was well made and possessed an epic grandness, but it really didn’t have much personality. It grew on me over time, and I’m willing to concede that it is a good movie, but I’m wasn’t surprised to hear that despite being made for $150 million, it only grossed $93 million domestically. It’s tough to make a movie that dry and expect it to be a huge blockbuster.
Still, I like Crowe in this role and Paul Bettany provided able support in the first film. It would be nice to see them work together again. The first film also had the final The Lord of the Rings film to contend with at the box office and Oscars. A second installment might fare better.
On a speculative note, it will be interesting to see what happens if Peter Weir decides not to come back. Passing the reins to Ridley Scott wouldn’t be a bad idea. He made a great water movie with White Squall and, as we all have seen, he and Crowe get along splendidly. Could help him win that elusive first Oscar.