Flipping through recent back issues of Entertainment Weekly with my morning coffee, I came across the startling news that there are TWO film versions of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the works right now. One is being produced by Disney, with David Fincher attached to direct (and let us ponder how strange the juxtaposition of Disney and David Fincher would once have seemed). The other is a co-production by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott, with a script by the Clash of the Titans remake writer, and possibly directed by the guy who did Wanted (two movies I've never had the slightest interest in seeing).
So far, there's no word on the all-important casting of Captain Nemo (but thank Rishi and all else that is holy in life that the rumored starring of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been debunked). Last summer, I pondered this very question, of who could play a "deeply embittered, morally ambiguous genius somewhere between the ages of 35 and 50," one the audience will be sympathetic toward, and who's described in the book as much finer-looking than I imagined from previous film versions.
Sometimes, the laziest and most obvious answer is, in fact, correct: I'm going to make a stand now that if one of these productions doesn't at least consider Shah Rukh Khan for the role, they are freakin' crazy people. He's the right age; he's got the right look; we know his English is fluent; and based on the more dramatic and/or straight-faced roles in his oeuvre, he could be totally awesome! Sure, people, take the gushing fangirl seriously....
But really! There's also the built-in appeal of having an iconic Indian character from classic European literature being played by an such an iconic Indian actor. SRK can do sympathetic, he can do morally ambiguous anti-heroic, and he can certainly do larger than life. If he weren't interested, having gotten his own sci-fi extravaganza off the ground, that's one thing -- but come on, someone should at least try.