Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov has signed on to direct a big-screen reimagining of the Herman Melville classic Moby Dick for Universal Pictures.
Universal apparently paid a hefty six-figure sum to Adam Cooper and Bill Collage to pen the screenplay.
In the 1851 novel, the story is told from the perspective of a young sailor named Ishmael, who enlists in a whaling expedition aboard the Pequod, helmed by the obsessive Captain Ahab. Through Ishmael’s eyes, it’s revealed that on a previous voyage, the titular great white whale destroyed Ahab’s ship and bit off his leg, which is what’s fueling Ahab’s hunt for Moby-Dick and his need for revenge.
Cooper and Collage’s version will abolish the book’s first-person narrative in favor of a graphic novel-style version of the story. I guess that means we won’t be hear one of the most famous literary opening sentences — “Call me Ishmael.” The reasoning is so that they can show Moby-Dick’s destruction of other ships prior to its encounter with the Pequod. Also, “Ahab will be depicted more as a charismatic leader than a brooding obsessive.”
“Our vision isn’t your grandfather’s “˜Moby Dick,'” Cooper said. “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.”
It sounds like this truly will be a reimagining, since the whole angle of the book is Ahab’s obsession and how it interferes with not only his judgment as a Captain, but also with moral decisions he’s faced with. This movie sounds like they’re just going for the maritime disaster movie, a la Jaws and Orca, except with a whale; now you know why action junkie Bekmambetov was brought on.
By the way, if you’re worried about what kind of credentials these writers have, have no fear: they received writing credit for such gems as the Olsen twins adventure New York Minute, as well as the Justin Long comedy Justin Long Accepted.
Should I bother to ask the question, is this film really necessary?