CATEGORIES Action, Classics, Deals, Universal, Scripts, Newsstand, Comic/Superhero/Geek, Remakes and Sequels, Movie News, CinematicalThis may be the oddest mix of director and material that you might read all year. According to Variety, Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) will be directing an adaptation of Herman Melville's Moby Dick for Universal, who made a big pre-emptive buy of this revisionist take. Not surprisingly, it won't be the "Call me Ishmael" version that you remember from school. In fact, Ishmael probably won't even be in it.
Adam Cooper and Ben Collage are penning the screenplay, and taking what they call "a graphic novel approach" to a book considered to be one of the best in the English language. (In Hollywood talk nowadays, this means "It will look like 300.") Moby Dick becomes a kind of Jaws in this version, where we will see him wreaking havoc on the seas long before he encounters Captain Ahab and the Pequod. Ahab won't become the obsessive and destructive captain, but a brave and charismatic leader. (Yeah, there was a moral there, but who needs that nowadays?) Bekmambetov is looking to apply his frenetic visual flair to the story of the great white whale. I think we all know what the style is, and what this will look like. Moby's white body will look terrific splattered with blood as he drags ships down to the depths at high speed.
Honestly, Moby Dick is not one of my favorite books, and it's only an academic snarkiness that balks at a Bekmambetov version. Besides, it's going to be pretty funny when audience members rush to Borders to buy a copy of the book, imagining it to be packed with gore and brawny heroes, not "to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee!"