He said as much to our good selves in an interview a couple of months ago, but Russell Crowe has once again talked up the possibility of returning to the seafaring world of Master and Commander.
Crowe first played Patrick O'Brien's Captain Jack Aubrey, the protagonist of twenty novels, in 2003, when Peter Weir's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was released to critical approval, reasonable box office and ten Oscar nominations.
The film contained elements of three of the original novels: the two namechecked in the franchise-starter title, plus the chase around Cape Horn from Desolation Island. That still leaves a good eighteen and a half novels ripe for movie attention however, and USA Today reports Crowe confirming that a script based on 1986's The Reverse of the Medal has been completed.
The Reverse of the Medal is the eleventh in the sequence of novels, and sees Aubrey gambling his dodgy finances on a peace treaty with France, being struck off the Naval list, and registering the HMS Surprise as a private man-of-war.
Most of the cast are still under contract for two more films, but negotiations are said to be in the early stages, with "a long way to go" according to Crowe. No official green light or start-date for the time being then.
Peter Weir told the Seattle Times in 2005: "I think a sequel is most unlikely. While it did well-ish at the box office, it didn't generate that kind of monstrous, rapid income that provokes a sequel." We hope he's proved wrong.