Moby Dick to be adapted by Wanted director

There is just something about the above title that made me want to end it with a “… Seriously.” ‘Tis true, the man who brought us the bullet-bending visual brilliance that was Wanted will now begin work at Universal Pictures on a reimagining (Hollywood’s favorite new term) of Herman Mellville’s whale tale Moby Dick.

According to the report from Variety, Universal has paid high six figures for writers Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (Accepted) to pen the script, which will be a “graphic novel-style version” of the classic. More details below:

The writers revere Melville’s original text, but their graphic novel-style version will change the structure. Gone is the first-person narration by the young seaman Ishmael, who observes how Ahab’s obsession with killing the great white whale overwhelms his good judgment as captain.

This change will allow them to depict the whale’s decimation of other ships prior to its encounter with Ahab’s Pequod, and Ahab will be depicted more as a charismatic leader than a brooding obsessive.

Wanted director Timur BekmambetovAs Cooper describes it, “Our vision isn’t your grandfather’s ‘Moby Dick.’ 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.”

For Timur Bekmambetov, this is now one of two major U.S. projects in development at Universal, the other being the inevitable sequel to Wanted. He is also working on producing a slate of “modestly budgeted Russian-language films for Universal’s offshore distribution operations.”

According to my sources, this film sounds like an interesting proposition, but it is more along the lines of that interesting proposition that sounds good at the time, but ultimately goes horribly wrong. I’m not saying that Bekmambetov isn’t the right guy for a graphic novel-style take on Moby Dick, I’m saying that I never thought I would have to write the phrase “graphic novel-style” in the same sentence as “Moby Dick.” My fear is that I will be bothered by the thought of the inevitable “curve the harpoon” scene until the movie comes out — and that’s something that I doubt anyone will be anxiously awaiting that moment.


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