What The? Timur Bekmambetov Directing Moby Dick!
by Alex Billington
September 22, 2008
Out of all the classic movies that could've been remade within the next few years, would anyone have expected Moby Dick to be one of them? And to top that off, Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian filmmaker who brought us Wanted this year, will be directing. As you might have expected (by now), it's going to be a "reimagining" of Herman Melville's classic tale. "Our vision isn't your grandfather's Moby Dick," screenwriter Adam Cooper explained. "This is an opportunity to take a timeless classic and capitalize on the advances in visual effects to tell what at its core is an action-adventure revenge story." I think that means we can expect something as epic and CGI-laden as Peter Jackson's King Kong remake.
Universal Studios reportedly paid in the high six figures for screenwriters Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (both of New York Minute and Accepted previously) to write the screenplay. Apparently their version won't have the first-person narration from Ishmael, instead it's been described as "graphic novel-style." This allows them to depict the whale's destruction of other ships prior to its encounter with Ahab’s Pequod, and Ahab will be depicted more as a charismatic leader than a brooding obsessive. "We wanted to take a graphic novel sensibility to a classic narrative," said Collage. With these kind of production values being put into the project, this is definitely going to be a big "creature feature" tentpole for Universal.
I guess the reason why I'm so taken aback by this news tonight is that I somehow thought Moby Dick was one of those "sacred classics" that would never be remade. But then again, I guess I thought King Kong was one of those, too, and look what happened to that. Or actually, any of these remakes that we've seen in the works recently have all been blasphemy anyway. As I start to calm down and take this in, I'm actually starting to think it might not be as bad as I originally thought? Bekmambetov is a great director, as we saw with Wanted, and reimagining this classic tale might actually be a good idea? Moby Dick was first published in 1851 and has been converted into numerous mediums. Could this be good?