Chris Hemsworth is on his way to becoming a very big star. The guy had three big movies this year: Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, and Snow White and the Huntsman. He's now attached to star in a great sounding new film project called In the Heart of the Sea.
The movie will be based on a book by Nathaniel Philbrick that tells the true disaster story that inspired the classic tale of Moby Dick. The fact-based film will follow a Nantucket whaling ship the called Essex, which was stalked and destroyed by a sperm whale in 1820. The crew was stranded thousands of miles from home, and they did had to do whatever they could to survive during the 90 days that they were lost.
According to Deadline, Hemsworth will play "a first mate who was supplanted as captain of the whaling ship by a better connected rival. When the ship was attacked by the sperm whale in the Pacific, he becomes the hero who leads some of them to safety. A total of 20 crewmen, the captain and first mate escaped in small whaling boats. An isolated tropical island was just 1000 miles downwind, but the captain ordered them to head the other way, out of fear of false rumors of flesh eating savages on the island. Because they headed to South America, the boats were stranded. The survivors were ironically forced to become cannibals, casting lots in one ship to see who had to die and who had to execute him to others could eat and survive. That’s part of the tale, but another big part is the depiction of the New England whaling industry of the 1800s, when men risked their lives to chase and harpoon whales for their oil."
This sounds like it will be an awesomely intense movie. That little description sold me on the story, and I might not be able to wait for the movie. This is something I think I'll actually end up reading. The package is currently making its way around Hollywood looking for distribution and financial backing from interested parties. It's sounding like the movie could very well end up at DreamWorks Pictures. The script was written by Charles Leavitt, who also scripted the Leonardo DiCaprio film Blood Diamond. I'm very excited about seeing how this film turns out.
Here's the full description of the book:
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.