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Australia Puts $22.6M Into '20,000 Leagues' Remake

By ROD McGUIRK

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) â¿¿ Australia is paying its biggest Hollywood inducement ever to bring "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" Down Under.

The Walt Disney Studios will film a new version of the science fiction classic in Australia, which will pay the studio 21.6 million Australia dollars ($22.6 million) to film there, the government said Tuesday.

"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and "The Social Network" director David Fincher will direct, said Disney Asia-Pacific spokeswoman Alannah Hall-Smith.

"No casting decisions have been made," she said, so the filming schedule and locations haven't been set.

Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that producers were believed to have been in discussions with Brad Pitt, who starred in Fincher's "Fight Club."

The newpaper reported that Fincher wanted Pitt for the film's hero Ned Land.

The story centers on Capt. Nemo and his submarine the Nautilus. Jules Verne's book was made into an Academy Award-winning movie in 1954 with Kirk Douglas starring as Land and James Mason as Nemo.

The announcement comes after "The Wolverine," starring Australian actor Hugh Jackman, recently wrapped filming in Sydney. The government paid Fox Studios AU$12.8 million to film in Australia.

Gillard said the "The Wolverine" created more than 1,750 jobs, contracted more than 1,027 Australian companies and generated AU$80 million in investment.

She expects "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" will create more than 2,000 jobs.

A strong Australian dollar buoyed by a mining boom has made Australia less attractive to Hollywood as a filmmaking location in recent years.

It wasn't known how much the payment would offset the film's budget.

The securing of this film is a huge coup for the Australian film industry and for the near 1,000 local businesses that will be providing goods and services for the film," Gillard said in a statement.

"The Wolverine" in 3D opens in July in the United States, Australia and other countries.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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