Vulture is reporting tonight that Ron Howard is circling a movie from Warner Bros. called In the Heart of the Sea, with Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, set to star. The film is based on the National Book Award winner In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick.
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship’s cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.
The tale is known for inspiring Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and is close to being fast tracked to begin production this fall. The script is ready and waiting from Blood Diamond writer Charles Leavitt and Howard is finishing up production on F1 racing film Rush, which happens to star Hemsworth.
Warner Bros. is ready to finance and Vulture says that Howard is really, really close to committing to this project. Hell yeah Ron, go ahead and do it! A big budget movie set in the 19th century about a whaleship that’s destroyed by an immense sperm whale!?
Of course, this is a huge production with a giant budget. Howard has had budget issues recently trying to get Stephen King’s The Dark Tower off the ground all over Hollywood, so this isn’t a done deal yet. But it’s looking increasingly likely that we’re going to have a version of Moby Dick with modern day special effects. Holla. [Vulture]