Oh, those big, famous directors: not content with developing one or two projects at any one time, they’ve got to be juggling at least 10. Ron Howard definitely seems to need the thrill of various directorial alleyways, as he’s considering adding another to his list, circling Warner Bros.’ In The Heart Of The Sea.
You might recall that the project, which has been adrift in the choppy seas of development for more than a decade, hooked Chris Hemsworth to star last year. And who has recently worked with Hemsworth on Formula One dramaRush? Why, Ron Howard!
The subject matter is also compelling, based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s non-fiction book about ill-fated Nantucket whaling ship the Essex, which was stalked and destroyed by a sperm whale in 1820. If the story sounds familiar, it’s because Herman Melville used it as inspiration for Moby Dick.
With Hemsworth attached to play the vessel’s heroic first mate, who took charge as the situation turned more desperate and tried to save as many of the crew as he could, it certainly seems an attractive package. It even boasts a script in place from Blood Diamond’s Charles Leavitt, and with studio backing, it could be ready to shoot before the end of the year.
But it also has potential pitfalls, not least the dark subject matter and the challenges of filming a period adventure on the water. Or the fact that, if it doesn't work, you just know one review will simply read, "Arr! It blows!"
So as of right now, Howard is still circling like a cautious dolphin, not quite lured in by Warners executives throwing fish over the side. Still, Vulture is hearing he may yet commit.
If he does, the project will enter the huge stack of potential movies he’s considering, including recent acquisitions The Graveyard Book and Israeli TV movie-based drama All I’ve Got.