Wanted director to chase Moby Dick adaptation

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Scene from an illustrated version of Moby Dick
Scene from an illustrated version of Moby Dick
Universal Pictures has purchased the rights to the Herman Melville classic tale Moby Dick, which will be a reimagining of the tale that Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch, Day Watch, upcoming Twilight Watch) will “helm”, according to Variety. The studio has contracted Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (the pair wrote New York Minute) to pen the script.

Universal is seeking to completely reinvent the tome, and apparently hired the pair for their graphic novel-style of writing, in order to change the structure of the original story. They are taking out the first-person narration by the young seaman Ishmael, who observed how Ahab’s obsession with killing the great white whale overwhelms his judgment as the ship’s captain.

This change will allow them to depict the whale’s destruction of other ships prior to its encounter with Ahab’s, and the whale hunter will be depicted more as charismatic leader than brooding obsessive. The director is also looking to apply the visual style he displayed in Wanted, and his Russian sci-fi hits Night Watch and Day Watch.

Bekmambetov is also developing a sequel to the Angelina Jolie film Wanted, and is currently setting up a slate of mid-range budgeted Russian-language films for Universal’s offshore distribution shingle.

Cooper and Collage did rewrite work on the untitled Brett Ratner-directed Trump Tower heist movie. That film is being produced by Brian Grazer, with Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock attached to star. The duo also worked on the Tom Bezucha-directed The People’s House and the upcoming McG film Nightcrawlers.

Film Fetish Trivia: Sci-fi legend Ray Bradbury co-wrote the screenplay for the 1956 film version of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, with director John Huston.

Below is a trailer for the John Huston-directed 1956 film version of Moby Dick, starring Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab.