There are, from time to time, those films that receive critical acclaim and award nominations then fade off into the sunset without any additional sequels to the franchise. Master and Commander, starring Russell Crowe, was just such a film.
Even with its garnering of two Oscar-nominations, the franchise never moved past the original film. Why is that one has to wonder? It was initially intended for there to be a follow-up sequel, based on the Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World series, but it did not materialize.
The highly successful Master and Commander, which released in 2003, was based on the character of Captain Jack Aubrey, from the Aubrey-Maturin books penned by Patrick O’Brian. The series was set during the Napoleonic Wars, aboard the Royal Naval vessel, the HMS Surprise.
With a respectable budget of $150 million, the film created its realistic scenes by shooting several months in a water tank with an authentically-created set, along with ten additional days filming on the high seas.
Even with the love of the critics and those over at the Oscars (it garnered a Best Picture and Best Director nomination), the film only grossed $212 million worldwide. There is also the fact that, although Crowe was at the height of his popularity after his appearance in the 2000s, box office smash Gladiator, this popularity did not parlay over into aiding the Master and Commander.
Due to the somewhat lukewarm reception of the film by the fans at the box office, a possible sequel was never greenlit. And even now, seventeen years later, there are still no anticipated plans for a sequel. This, in spite of the fact that in 2017 that Crowe hinted in an interview that there were “whispers” of the sequel happening.