Cillian Murphy is on board for the Ron Howard-directed adaptation of In the Heart of the Sea. The film is based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s non-fiction book that follows the epic story of the whaleship Essex in the 1820s. It has been said that the events that took place with the Essex were “as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours.” If that fact wasn’t enough to pique your interest, the story was also the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick.
After setting sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage, the Essex was repeatedly attacked by a sperm whale in the South Pacific, destroying the ship and leaving the twenty-man crew to fend for themselves on three small boats. Having heard rumors of cannibals in the Society Islands to the west, the crew heads for the coast of South America, which was 3,000 miles away. The harrowing journey lasted for 90 days at sea while the men faced hunger, thirst, disease, and other dangers.
Murphy will be joining the crew as second mate Matthew Joy and Chris Hemsworth is slated to play first mate Owen Chase. Benjamin Walker, best known for his presidential service slaying vampires in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, will be playing the ship’s captain, George Pollard.
The film will begin shooting near London in mid-September.