Russell Crowe’s ‘Master and Commander’ prequel film in the works

From screenwriter Patrick Ness

A prequel film to Russell Crowe’s Master and Commander is in the works.

According to Deadline, 20th Century is working with A Monster Calls screenwriter to adapt a new script taking place before the events of the 2003 film directed by Peter Weir.

There is no word yet on a director or any cast members attached – stay tuned for updates as they come in.


Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World followed Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) during the Napoleonic Wars, as he pushed his crew to their limits while going after a French war vessel around South America.

Earlier this year, Crowe took to the film’s defence on social media, after Mercury Prize-nominated singer-songwriter Ian McNabb criticised it on Twitter.

“Lots of folk complaining about lack of sleep during the Pandemic,” McNabb wrote. “May I recommend Master And Commander starring the usually captivating, attention-grabbing Russell Crowe. I’ve never made it past the ten minute mark. You’re welcome. And thanks Russell. @russellcrowe”.

Crowe then responded to McNabb, defending the film: “That’s the problem with kids these days. No focus. Peter Weir’s film is brilliant. An exacting, detail oriented, epic tale of fidelity to Empire & service, regardless of the cost. Incredible cinematography by Russell Boyd & a majestic soundtrack. Definitely an adults movie.”

Master and Commander was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and went on to win two – Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing – though lost its remaining nominations to The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of the King.


Meanwhile, last year Crowe revealed a Bible-inspired storyline idea for Gladiator 2 that was ultimately scrapped.