Chris Hemsworth has already had a very busy year, and his schedule is showing no signs of slowing down. After turns in The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, and Snow White and the Huntsman, Hemsworth has now become attached to the long-in-development adaptation of author Nathaniel Philbrick’s novel In the Heart of the Sea. The book recounts the real life sea disaster of the whaleship Essex, a harrowing ordeal that inspired Herman Melvilee’s Moby Dick. In 1819, the ship was rammed by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific. The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of the book.
Hemsworth would play the hero of the story, a first mate who was unseated as captain of the ship by a rival. The script was written by Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond) and various directors have been attached in the past including Barry Levinson and Edward Zwick. Deadline reports that DreamWorks is close to a deal on the project, but other studios are also in the mix. Joe Roth will produce alongside Paula Weinstein.
Hemsworth is gearing up to start production on Thor 2, and Universal may or may not be moving forward with a Huntsman sequel in the near future. I’m a sucker for largescale sea epics, and if In the Heart of the Sea is paired with a director who can balance the themes of humanity and survival with grand visuals then I think this could be one hell of a project. Moreover, Hemsworth’s a fine choice for the lead so hopefully this film moves forward sooner rather than later. Read a synopsis of Philbrick’s novel below.
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. [Amazon]