Ron Howard is set to direct In the Heart of the Sea, which is about the real life events in 1820 where the whaling ship Essex was lost at sea for 90 days and stuggled to fend off a giant sperm whale that was stalking them. The event was also the inspiration for the Herman Melville novel Moby Dick. Although the Howard film will be an adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s novel by the same name.
The list of cast members so far has been convincing. Joining the film will be Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) who is rumored to be Herman Melville (shown below), Cillian Murphy (Inception), Brenden Gleeson (In Bruges), Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), and Tom Holland (The Impossible).
The Essex whaleship was originally from Nantucket, Massachusetts and captained by George Pollard Jr. After leaving on a whaling voyage off the west coast of South America they were hit by a storm that damaged their whaling boats, but they continued on with two destroyed and one heavily damaged. On November 20th, 1820 they sighted a whale and set out in pursuit. Obviously we know that the whale went beserk and crashed into the ship which caused it to sink very fast.
In a passage from the novel through the perspective of crew member Owen Chase it reads
“I turned around and saw him about one hundred rods (550 yards) directly ahead of us, coming down with twice his ordinary speed (around 24 knots or 44 km/h), and it appeared with tenfold fury and vengeance in his aspect. The surf flew in all directions about him with the continual violent thrashing of his tail. His head about half out of the water, and in that way he came upon us, and again struck the ship.”
“The captain’s boat was the first that reached us. He stopped about a boat’s length off, but had no power to utter a single syllable; he was so completely overpowered with the spectacle before him. He was in a short time, however, enabled to address the inquiry to me, “My God, Mr. Chase, what is the matter?” I answered, “We have been stove by a whale.”
I’d say an 80 foot whale going apeshit on some sailors makes for a good movie. It is currently in pre-production.