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'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World' - 15 Years Later

Posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 4:00 PM

Movie PosterRussell Crowe's historical epic, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, opened in theaters fifteen years ago today, November 14, 2003. It was a big-budget movie that didn't perform to expectations in the box office, but has gained a bit of a following on home video. Some of the on-ship scenes are still referred by home theater enthusiasts as demo-worthy for showing off what their audio system can do (the movie won an Academy Award for Sound Editing).

What many may not know (I didn't) is that the movie was supposed to be a franchise. Industry site The Wrap has an article about that backstory that is quite interesting and well worth reading. Here is an excerpt:

In the annals of 21st century blockbusters, there is a film that stands out among the slew of superheroes and wizards and Jedi that have come to define modern Hollywood tentpoles. It’s a film that in the 15 years since its release has earned a small but passionate following of cinephiles ready to champion it, but was meant to become something so much more.

“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” which opened in theaters on Nov. 14, 2003, was Peter Weir’s detailed, gripping adaptation of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novel series. Taking its name from two of the 20 novels released by O’Brian in the second-half of the 20th century, the film tells the story of Jack Aubrey, a captain in the British Royal Navy played by Russell Crowe, who was still riding the heights of his “Gladiator” action star popularity.

And it was intended to be the first in a series of films.

Click the Read link below to view the full article.

It's been quite some time since I've seen the movie, and this article has me adding it to my list of movies to watch to revisit it.

While we will probably never see any more "Master and Commander" movies made, it's interesting to know a little more about what might have been. This is just one of many examples of franchises that never were, because the first one out of the gates didn't meet expectations.

Perhaps when audiences tire of superhero movies, their interests will swing back to historical epics and Jack Aubrey will take the helm on the big screen again...

Buy/Rent the Movie

The fifteenth anniversary of the movie would have been a great time to release this movie on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, but alas, it wasn't to be. Let's hope that it doesn't take five years for Fox Home Entertainment to revisit the movie and give it a higher-definition release!

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