Edward Zwick Directing Moby Dick-Like Heart of the Sea
by Alex Billington
March 3, 2009
It may be hard coming off of a flop like Defiance, but Edward Zwick is trying to put the past behind him. Zwick will next direct In the Heart of the Sea, a based on a true story tale of a Nantucket whaling ship called the "Essex," which was stalked and ultimately destroyed by a sperm whale in 1820. If this sounds familiar, that's because this real life incident was the inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick, and it just so happens that Timur Bekmambetov is slated to direct a re-imagining of that novel. Zwick wrote the script with Marshall Herskovitz (The Last Samurai) and plans to put this into production late this year.
New Regency is already working on the film and is trying to figure out how to trim down elements of the script to save costs, because shooting a "logistically ambitious" period piece on the open water isn't exactly cheap. After the sperm whale attacked the "Essex", a handful of the crew managed to escape, but were subsequently lost at sea for 90 days. Only eight were eventually rescued, including the 28 year old captain of the ship, George Pollard, Jr. It sounds like a very interesting and heart wrenching story that could be entertaining on the big screen, but I've lost all faith in Edward Zwick after seeing Defiance last year.
I hate seeing two big projects go head-to-head against each other, but it looks like In the Heart of the Sea is probably going to get made first. That shouldn't matter because I'm sure Timur's version will be completely different anyway, plus I'm looking forward to that a lot more than I am Zwick's In the Heart of the Sea.