The last time Chris Hemsworth was captain of a ship (ok, starship, if you want to nit pick) it didn’t end that well. And there he had all the techno gadgets of the Federation Starship USS Kelvin at his disposal.
Now that he’s attached himself to fact-based maritime thriller In the Heart of the Sea, it looks like he’s once again going to be captaining a distraught vessel being harrassed by a much more powerful foe, only this time he’ll be armed with probably nothing but a harpoon and a mild case of scurvy.
The film is an adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s National Book Award-winning book of the same name, which is based on the true story of Nantucket whaling ship the Essex, which was stalked and ultimately destroyed by a sperm whale in 1820, leaving the crew of 22 stranded for 90 days, until eventually only 8 were rescued.
Hemsworth would play the ex-Captain of the ship, now turned First Mate after a rival uses his connections to supplant him. He would have to once again assume the leadership role though once the “captain”, in fear of rumours of cannibalistic islanders nearby, leads them in the wrong direction to escape the whale resulting in them being stranded thousands of miles from home. As they ran out of food and water they eventually had to resort to drawing lots to determine one person to be killed and eaten and another person who would do the killing. And apparently it only gets worse from there.
The entire event would eventually inspire Herman Melville to pen his classic Moby Dick. Well, minus the sunburnt dudes eating each other’s faces, of course.
Despite the fact that certainly sounds like an intriguing premise, the script – penned by Blood Diamond‘s Charles Leavitt – has been bouncing around Hollywood for 12 years now already without much success. Its dark subject matter as well as the fact that it will be a bit of a logistical nightmare, have both been cited as reasons for it having been lost as sea for so long. At last account, Ed Zwick was set to direct, with Dream Works being hinted as one of the studio front runners to produce the film.
With Hemsworth recently becoming very bankable at the box office with Thor, The Avengers and Snow White and the Huntsman, as well having his other starring vehicle of the year, Cabin In The Woods, garner much critical praise, I’m sure that his involvement will be exactly what this floundering script needs to become a reality.
Besides who doesn’t want to see a God of Thunder face off against a raging leviathan of the deep?
Last Updated: June 12, 2012