Ron Howard is all over this week, becoming attached to direct two fantasy adaptations: Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book and Israeli import All I’ve Got. Before Howard launches into those worlds, though, he may first tackle a project more grounded in reality. Vulture hears Howard is circling the adaptation of Nathaniel Philbri‘s In the Heart of the Sea, which could take precedence as his next project and shoot this fall with Warner Bros. financing. Chris Hemsworth, per usual, is a major selling point. Howard is now in post-production on Rush, a Formula One biopic led by Hemsworth, and Hemsworth is set to star in In the Heart of the Sea. The 19th century drama follows the surviving crew who drifted for 90 days in the South Pacific after their whaleship was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale. (That sperm whale went on to inspire Moby Dick.)
Howard has not yet committed, but you can see why the story and the star would attract him. A period piece shot on the sea would likely be a massive undertaking, and if WB plays their cards right, a viable prestige picture come awards season. Read the book synopsis after the jump.
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. [Amazon]