Fans of the Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany-led adaptation of the classic nautical novel by Patrick O’Brian can rejoice, as it was announced that the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World will be receiving the prequel treatment from 20th Century.
With a script penned by A Monster Calls and Chaos Walking writer Patrick Ness, the epic story of Captain Jack Aubrey (Crow) and Stephen Maturin (Bettany)—set during the Napoleonic Wars—will finally be expanded upon nearly 20 years later…though not as a sequel like many had hoped for. While the original Peter Weir film was adapted from three books in the literary series and intended for more film sequels—not to mention that it received 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture—they never got off the ground past that first film. Instead, this new story will be traveling back in time to young Aubrey and Maturin in the first book. This means that the characters will most likely no longer be played by Crowe and Bettany, as the actors will have aged out of the parts.
Ness is the author of the bestselling Chaos Walking book series, which he also recently adapted into a film starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. He also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Lord of the Flies film adaption helmed by Luca Guadagnino. No director or cast has yet been set for this prequel, but hopefully it means a future for more Master and Commander films.