The Nautilus Journal

Lou Marich

Book Cover



    Core Theme



    19th Century,20th Century (multiple decades),1980s & '90s,Across Centuries











    An extraordinary sojourn ends off the coast of the Lofoten Isles. For French Naturalist, Professor Pierre Aronnax and two companions, the voyage was too incredible to be true. The voyage that took them 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, in a mysterious and highly advanced submarine boat, called Nautilus!

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal


    Maritime France and South Pacific

    Based on a True Story


    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Amazon Publishing

    Year Published: 2000

    Starting Description

    After escaping the clutches of a madman named, Captain Nemo, Professor Pierre Aronnax pens a second account of their encounters and must return to society and tell of his whereabouts and avoid an international incident.

    Ending Description

    The secrets of Pierre Aronnax awaken in the twentieth century along with the interests of his heirs, and a corporate villain vying for the ultimate prize.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available



    ASIN : B003A844LU

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements


    Plot - Premise

    Voyage and Return,Tragedy,Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Professor Pierr Aronnax

    Age: 55

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Complex,Educated,Honorable,Sophisticated,Selfless,Blunt

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Conseil

    Age: 45

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Empathetic,Engaging,Educated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Julia Aronnax

    Age: 40

    Gender: Female

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Seductive,Sophisticated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Orlan Taneek

    Age: 50

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Complex,Confident,Flexible,Villainous,Masculine,Sarcastic,Unapologetic

    Development Pitch

    An extraordinary sojourn across the globe ends off the coast of the Lofoten Isles. For French Naturalist, Professor Pierre Aronnax and two companions, the journey was too incredible to be true. Only his packet of notes told of their adventure aboard a highly advanced submarine boat called, Nautilus. The famed marine author from the Paris museum whose mortality was in question for months had survived an ordeal that took him 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. Upon his return to France, his scientific zeal prompts him to recount and chronicle the secrets of his ordeal and secure it for safekeeping. Pierre’s return to the world scene creates a mixed reaction by the discerning public. Hailed as a hero by colleagues and a lost love interest but he is dismissed as a traitor and suspected accomplice against a U.S. mission. He retreats from Paris to his coastal home to avoid any U.S. entanglements and an international incident. The secrets of Pierre Aronnax awaken in the twentieth century along with the interests of his heirs, and a corporate villain vying for the ultimate prize.




    Professor Aronnax sets out on the seas with his colleagues, but go missing. They return with a wild story about being captured by a dreaded pirate and encounter a giant sea creature. The tale is lost until the present day when Julia Aronnax goes in search of the missing ship.

    Overall Rating


    Point of View


    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book profile accurately reflects the book.

    Draw of Story

    The story begins by shedding light on the adventures that Professor Aronnax and his companions, Conseil, had while missing for two years. The characters know they can't let the true story of their time with Captain Nemo or the sea creatures become public so they craft another story. There is adventure and mystery throughout.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The book jumps to the future where Professor Aronnax's descendant are searching for the truth. My interest was in seeing their time with Captain Nemo and the sea monster. Both versions contribute to the story equally.

    Use of Special Effects


    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that Professor Aronnax's two years on see was filled with dangerous pirates and a mysterious sea creature. I would watch the movie for the mystery, the sea creatures and the treasure hunt to find the lost ship. This story is filled with adventure.

    Fanbase Potential

    This could have a large fanbase but does not have as much action as films that are similar. It is milder in story and adventure.

    Awards Potential

    This does not have awards potential. This story is similar to many others dealing with pirates, the high seas, sea creatures and lost treasures. The characters are developed but not in any extraordinary way.

    Envisioned Budget


    Similar Films/TV Series


    What’s New About the Story

    The story is not original. There are many stories about adventures on the high seas with sea creatures and mysteries. This could be more unique with a diverse cast and a different location.

    Lead Characters

    The lead characters do not stand out. They are typical characters for this type of story and work well with the story.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is an average story which uses the same formula to retell it. It could be improved by diversifying the cast and taking it out of France. There could be a retelling on pirates. Anything could have happened during the two years Professor Aronnax could have been doing anything. There is a scientific element to the story, that could be elaborated on to create a deeper story.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio, Film - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation



    While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

    Tips for Improvement

    This story needs a unique twist especially after the success of Pirates of the Caribbean. Blending genres could work in this story where it starts off on the seas but Professor Aronnax is transported to a new dimension or different timeline. Sea monsters could be aliens that found their way to Earth or pirates ferry people between dimensions. There are many more possibilities for the stories that would set it apart from others.


    After an extraordinary sojourn that took French Naturalist Professor Pierre Aronnax and two companions 20,000 leagues under the sea, their descendants try to find and resurrect the valuable and infamous submarine before evil men claim the prize.

    What We Liked

    The recognition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is an excellent introduction to a property such as this, and its incorporation of new characters into its world and then expanding upon it gives it a good advantage. On its own, it's an exciting story and the characters are interesting enough without the pedigree of Captain Nemo's exploits. The plot is harrowing and the danger palpable. The characters are worthy of empathy and for whom one would root, with a capable villain keeping things lively.

    The dangerous and beautiful seas are the main backdrop of this story and they are cinematically valuable settings. Whenever man can die simply by being exposed to the elements inherently ratchets up the tension. Add to that a machine that is a weapon, cutting-edge technology, and determined characters, and you have the makings of a riveting story. This one does not disappoint, and the juxtaposition of characters from different eras all obsessed with the same intriguing machine would make an interesting movie. The ocean as an antagonist is always fun, as is a hubris-infected villain determined to tame her for personal gain.

    Key points: Man vs. the ocean
    Innovative technologies
    Mad genius
    A known literary work
    Brilliant characters


    Prologue: The industrial revolution brought new ideas and inventions, as well as new literary adventures. There was a legend that a giant narwhal was taking out ships. New oceanic technologies since then have allowed for successful explorations, uncovering fantastic things such as The Nautilus Journal.

    France, 1870, and Prussians are invading Paris. Professor Pierre Arronax, 55, stares out at the sea. He and his servant Conseil’s, 45, whereabouts have been unknown for two years, with people assuming they perished at sea. He recounts his trip with Captain Nemo in Nemo’s submarine The Nautilus, and how his journal was destroyed in their escape. Pierre assumed Nemo and his crew died. Pierre, Conseil, and Ned Land got away in a separate craft. Now, sitting at his writing desk, Pierre plans to tell the story of Captain Nemo. San Francisco, 1867. Rumors of a large glowing sea monster prompted the US government to have Pierre, Conseil and Ned sail on the Abraham Lincoln with Captain Farragut to the Orient with the hopes of discovering the mystery. Something pierces the hull and the three are thrown into the water. They find refuge on a large conical device that’s floating in the sea. The Nautilus. Conseil awakens Pierre at 4 am, this having been a nightmare. The next morning, Conseil confesses his misgivings about revealing Captain Nemo’s secrets to the world. Pierre continues to write: In the self-propelling submarine, they found treasures from sunken ships, a giant pearl, and used an air filled suit to farm undersea riches. Conseil tells him a carriage stopped by but he hid, not sure if Pierre wanted their existence revealed. Pierre tells him next time to engage with the carriage occupants. Perhaps they had resources Pierre could use. No one would believe them anyway, and they would never find the submarine. Pierre continues to write: The Nautilus had electricity before the rest of the world which coal and seawater produced, and this powered the submarine. Nemo seemed to have mood swings. One day gregarious, the next day withdrawn.

    Nemo rams a ship, allowing all on board to drown. He rants about how he will control their entire fleet and even the seven seas someday as they head north to the Arctic. Ned, Conseil and Pierre escape and are rescued by fishermen in Norway and make their way back to France. Pierre is done with his journal. He tells Conseil that it is too dangerous to reveal the secrets of The Nautilus and they should put his journal in a safe deposit box. They will ask their neighbor Jacques to borrow a horse to take it to the bank. The bank has nothing big enough to store it, so they take the train to Paris and to the Natural History Museum where they are warmly received by curator Claude. He is astonished by their tale of a true sea monster and tells them there have been no other sightings. He plans a party and press reception for them the next night and they go and store Pierre’s journal in the museum vaults.

    The next morning the press announces their return. A pair of evening suits is sent to them and they are informed that a carriage will pick them up. They were sent by Marguerite, a woman Pierre pursued twenty years ago, and whom he regrets parting from. Over 200 people attend the party. The press hurls questions at them about the sea monster. Marguerie and Pierre walk outside and she asks if he still loves her and he says he does. The next morning Pierre accepts a summons to the American embassy and meets Asst. Ambassador John Edwards and Admiral Dellis. They ask a couple questions about their rescue at sea, clearly suspicious of Pierre and Conseil’s story. They protest the insinuation, and are told that a Naval secretary is coming to Paris to launch a full investigation. Back home, Pierre and Conseil hatch a plan to build a submersible at their dock. They design it and order the materials and begin construction. When it’s done, Marguerite comes to visit and witness their first descent. They’re reminded of The Nautilus as they look out the glass windows and see the small sea creatures. Pierre writes to Claude to come bear witness and bring the press. They named it Le Cabine Aquatique. Marguerite reluctantly goes down in it with Pierre and a nurse shark rams the craft and it takes on water. They resurface safely. Marguerite is shaken. There is word of another attack and sinking by the sea monster, so Dellis and Edwards travel to Pierre’s home to witness another descent of the invention. This time Claude is the passenger, and the submarine fails and cracks open. Claude, Pierre, and Conseil float to the surface, dead.

    Pierre’s brother Andre and his wife Jeanette inherit the house and go through Pierre’s belongings. Dellis, back in the States, orders a ship to be reinforced so he can hunt the monster. He sets sail from San Francisco, and in the South Pacific encounters the “monster.” It rams the ship once, and there is no damage. Dellis realizes it’s man made as cannonballs hit the metal frame of the submarine. It rams them again, piercing the hull. Both the ship and The Nautilus sink to the bottom.

    1991: Julia, 40, the last heir of Pierre’s family, is in the French seaside house as the lawyer reads the will that leaves her everything. She is sad she has no heirs of her own. Going through the house, she finds Pierre’s fake journal with a key in the pages. It’s from the Natural History Museum, so she goes there and finds Pierre’s real journal. She reads it, and realizes the true history of Pierre, Nemo, and The Nautilus. She tracks down Ned Land’s descendant, Ned Land III, a renown oceanographer, who’s in the Pacific aboard his research vessel, the Marijana, when he gets a call that Julia is looking for him. He knows her by Pierre’s reputation. When they dock in Hawaii, she calls Ned and says she will fly out to Hawaii to discuss her research proposal with him. She tells them about her great uncle and his great grandfather sailing in The Nautilus with Captain Nemo. They discovered billions of dollars worth of treasure and now The Nautilus is at the bottom of the sea somewhere. Ned and his son Craig have trouble believing the technology to run The Nautilus existed in the 1860s, but Julia reads to them from Pierre’s journal and they start to consider the possibility. They see a news report about an old warship in Hawaii named the Charles Farragut - that must have been the Abraham Lincoln - that is mentioned in Pierre’s journal. After some debate, Ned and Craig are fully on board with finding the Nautilus. They just have to convince their current employer, Orlan Taneek, to let them out of their contract for a couple of months for the mission. They visit the very rich and disagreeable man, and after negotiations he allows them the time off but will require that his man Dale accompanies them. Ned explains to Julia afterwards that Orlan was responsible for his father’s death.

    Orlan, 50, invites Julia to dinner at his mansion and asks her what the museum’s secret interest is in the expedition. He’s aggressively sexual but she says she’ll see him again and he lets her go. When she gets back to the ship, Ned is not happy with her fraternization. They depart the next day on the voyage and Dale joins them with two large bags. They send down some gear to take pictures of the bottom of the ocean when they’re over a spot that’s 1800 feet. Dale keeps to himself, then decides to question them on their mission and it gets heated. Ned catched Dale using hidden equipment to tell Orlan of their location. Ned punches him out. Julia calls Orlan and tells him they all know he sent Dale to spy on them and that he’s a bastard.

    They find The Nautilus and celebrate. Ned and Julia kiss. They see something else down there and plan a dive. Orlan is following in his yacht unbeknownst to them. Ned and Craig get into their underwater suits and descend into The Nautilus. They find the treasure room with its gold and giant pearl and air tanks that still have air - that may be able to raise the submarine. Dale comes back up, a little shaken by all the death that surrounds The Nautilus - including a head they find in a helmet. Julia promises the museum will make reparations. Orlan practices martial arts with weapons on his yacht. Julia looks at all the dead bodies in The Nautilus. Ned and Julia argue about bringing up The Nautilus and suspect Orlan is after them. Ned gives the order, and they raise The Nautilus. It’s stuck, and Craig has to put explosives around it. Ned sees Orlan’s yacht heading toward them. When it gets close, it attaches to the Marijana. Orlan and his men board, and free Dale. Craig is still underwater in the suit, but Orlan cuts one of the cords. Orlan confesses to Ned that he’s used his boat to smuggle illegal goods the whole time they were partners. Orlan sees The Nautilus, and realizes it must be priceless and probably has treasure on board too. Ned is enraged when Orlan admits to killing his father. Craig surfaces and sneaks on board. When The Nautilus surfaces, it rips the Marijana apart and it explodes. Ned kills Orlan with a spear gun. Julia is having a diabetic attack and eats sweets until she is stable. She and Ned tell each other they love each other. While towing The Nautilus back to Hawaii, a big storm hits. The big lance on the nose of the submarine crashes into the Marijana, threatening to sink them both until Craig is able to separate them with explosives. As they limp back on course, they see that the submarine survived the explosion and is still behind them. The Coast Guard escorts them into Pearl Harbor where a throng of press awaits them.

    About The Author

    Lou Marich is a Cleveland, Ohio native and a long-time enthusiast of the Great Lakes and historical nautical stories. While growing up as a fan of Science Fiction and Action-Adventure genres, he would ask, "What happens next?" when enjoying his favorite movie titles. This desire to imagine the continuation of stories prompted him to pursue the next chapter of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.