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Bekmambetov Chases Moby Dick
Wanted director goes after white whale

23 September 2008  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  |  Source: Variety

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Thar she blows! Why, it looks like.. a re-imagining of Herman Melville's classic tale of the white whale, Moby Dick. Yes, cetologists will be up in arms and Japanese whalers thoroughly pleased with the news that Timur Bekmambetov, he of Night Watch and Wanted fame, is set to reprise the appalling slander dealt to whale kind in the story of a ferocious and dangerous sperm whale (stop sniggering at the back).

The story, for those of you asleep during Year Nine English, is related by a sailor called Ishmael, and follows the obsession of one Captain Ahab with the aforementioned killer whale* and his hunt across the seven seas in pursuit of it.

Apparently this take will abandon the first-person narration, giving the makers more scope to show the havoc wrought on other shipping by the whale. Ahab will be more charismatic leader than brooding obsessive, and it will be an "action-adventure revenge story" with advanced visual effects. Which seems, y'know, kinda reductive of a very complex book, but hey! It'll look cool.

In any case, Bekmambetov is also working on a Wanted sequel, and screenwriters Adam Cooper and Bill Collage have only just started on the screenplay. But keep an eye out for sounding whales in the distance, because we're pretty sure there's one coming.

*Not actually a killer whale. But a whale that kills. Which killer whales don't, incidentally - unless you're a seal. Also, they're not actually whales but dolphins. Never say we don't teach you anything here.


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Your Comments

Should behave his bleedin' self, get that third chapter done. Famous for a trilogy he never finished (and probably never will), now he's chasing whales. More

Posted by JapStrangler at 07:24 on 09 December 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Whalers?
L: Helen OHara L: There Is No Band If Japanese whalers are in it, I'm not going to go and see it. How many films would you watch with Japanese whalers? What they do to fish is horrible, just horrible. (wonders if NOW is the time to mention that whales aren't fish) wonders if now is the time to mention your Hellboy review) More

Posted by There Is No Band at 09:47 on 01 October 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sir David's assistant.
Incanus is quite correct.    Interestingly, a white sperm whale is entirely plausible... More

Posted by DazDaMan at 12:19 on 25 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sir David's assistant.
I have indeedily... and was probably missed like a hole in the head More

Posted by Vito_Andolini at 09:40 on 25 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sir David's assistant.
My Lady the Divine Helen OHara is so correct. Of course Moby Dick is a Sperm Whale, she did not contest this, if anyone would be kind enough to read the footnote in her article. And of course a Killer Whale, otherwise known as an Orca ( orca amily hinidae i]Suborder eti < i]Cetaceadolphin, the largest of them all. The contains about ninety species of whales, dolphins and porpoises. The etier of the s dolphins and porpoises, therein also fall Orcas. But there is also a second subor More

Posted by Incanus at 01:13 on 25 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Whalers?
Call me dismayed... More

Posted by Vito_Andolini at 14:29 on 24 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Whalers?
L: There Is No Band If Japanese whalers are in it, I'm not going to go and see it. How many films would you watch with Japanese whalers? What they do to fish is horrible, just horrible. sp; (wonders if NOW is the time to mention that whales aren't fish) More

Posted by Helen OHara at 07:57 on 24 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: He should make Steve Alten's MEG instead
L: Sphinx It's a pity the public won't take something as serious and negative as Moby Dick, Peck's Ahab is really quite deranged with ambition and almost akin with the fear provoked by Reverend Cain. Anyhoo, hollywood being hollywood this sounds like a rehash of that Orca film with richard harrissp; It better not be a remake of Orace the Killer Whale ove that film More

Posted by dj vivace at 23:19 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Whalers?
L: There Is No Band If Japanese whalers are in it, I'm not going to go and see it.sp; Funniest thing I've read today! More

Posted by DazDaMan at 21:44 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: He should make Steve Alten's MEG instead
It's a pity the public won't take something as serious and negative as Moby Dick, Peck's Ahab is really quite deranged with ambition and almost akin with the fear provoked by Reverend Cain. Anyhoo, hollywood being hollywood this sounds like a rehash of that Orca film with richard harris More

Posted by Sphinx at 19:52 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

He should make Steve Alten's MEG instead
I've been waiting for that film for AGES now. More

Posted by SteffanUK at 18:40 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

Whalers?
If Japanese whalers are in it, I'm not going to go and see it. How many films would you watch with Japanese whalers? What they do to fish is horrible, just horrible. You should all be ashamed. God says we should love all animals and protect them, even ones who live in the water. More

Posted by There Is No Band at 18:25 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
L: Banky Edwards Mastodon to do the soundtrack? sp; Fucken A! ......'I am Ahab' from Leviathan! Great tune! More

Posted by lukeyboy at 17:22 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Whale/Dolphin Debate
L: Beno This Director should be doing big budget wham bam thank u mam actioners not messing around with CGI fish .... still could be good . sp; s if now is the time to mention that whales are mammals.) More

Posted by Helen OHara at 17:10 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Whale/Dolphin Debate
This Director should be doing big budget wham bam thank u mam actioners not messing around with CGI fish .... still could be good . More

Posted by Beno at 16:55 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

Whale/Dolphin Debate
I think Helen was talking about the Killer Whale being a dolphin, which it is technically. The Killer Whale or Orca is a delphinidae which is the dolphin family. Scientifically, the term whale includes dolphins and porpoises. Common usage of the word dolphin however, only inludes the smaller variety of dolphins leaving out the orca, pilot whales, and a few other species. Now imagine I did that in my best Attenborough voice! More

Posted by whitemouse at 15:23 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Bekmambetov Chases Moby Dick
L: lukeyboy Right, two things..... Firstly i'd just like to echo the sentiments of the previous posts. Don't re-imagine a classic like Moby Dick,..stick to the source material otherwise you might as well get John Barrowman to star and call it Whale Attack!  Secondly, i'm quite sure a Sperm Whale is, in fact, a Whale..... not a Dolphin! If, Empire, you are adament that it is in fact a Dolphin,.... please back it up with some David Attenbrough-esque facts so when i repeat it in conve More

Posted by Woger at 15:06 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Harpoon-Time Whale Based Destruction
Aaagghh! Double post. First time I've ever done that! Damn computers. And my failure to discipline them. More

Posted by Acho at 13:55 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Harpoon-Time Whale Based Destruction
L: Karl Crutchley So coming from the Nightwatch & Wanted guy, this will involve lots of slo mo destruction with swinging rotating camera shots of boats splintering and the tiny pieces hanging in the air, whilst the harpoons bend around corners and leave ripples of wind behind them. Peck must be turning in his grave.ote]   My thoughts exactly.   While tchcertain crazy appeal to it, I didn't think much of /i] at all. I don't necessarily want to write-off Bekmambetov More

Posted by Acho at 13:54 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

hur, hur. sperm. More

Posted by Hughezy at 13:52 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

Utter BS!
Moby Dick is about one man's obsession leading to self destruction i.e. it's a human drama, something Bekmambetov knows nothing about. I fully expect to see a frankly enormous CG whale jumping over boats while an actor of credible stature (cue me thinking "why the hell did they sign for this boll*cks?") fires an opulently decorated harpoon at it. Possibly while also jumping through the air. The camera will then follow the harpoon as it hits whale meat. I can't tell you what will happen More

Posted by Nicky C at 13:33 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

Blimey
Wow..."Ahab will be more charismatic leader than brooding obsessive". Tell you what, give the whale a gun as well. If this is true, it sounds like they might well just be gutting an incredible book for some cheap thrills. I hope the movie attempts to do the novel justice. More

Posted by Richard C90210 at 13:27 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

Make it a comedy
what the world needs now is a comedy based on classic literature like this. Especially one that's ripe for all sorts of 'evil sperm whale' references and jokes about loads of seamen tossing about in a vessel. And that one about the Pirate king with a crew consisting entirely of men called 'Roger'. The way this one will actually pan out sounds more like a pitch of "It's the Terminator! At Sea. With No Guns. And it's set in the 19th century...." More

Posted by TheMadFatChickKiller at 12:46 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

To HELL with literary and marine accuracy!!!
After the Night/Day Watch films, and Wanted, I'm happy to see this guy make what will hopefully be another bat-shit insane, physics-be-damned version of anything, even if it a left-field choice like Moby Dick. More

Posted by the ageless stranger at 09:58 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

Mastodon to do the soundtrack? More

Posted by Banky Edwards at 09:55 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Bekmambetov Chases Moby Dick
L: Helen OHara No, a KILLER WHALE is a dolphin. A sperm whale's a whale. sp; Ah,..Gotcha! Thanks for clearing that up (was about as clear as mud in the article!)   Now while we're on the subject,...what exactly is a Platypus? More

Posted by lukeyboy at 09:49 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Bekmambetov Chases Moby Dick
No, a KILLER WHALE is a dolphin. A sperm whale's a whale. More

Posted by Helen OHara at 09:33 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Bekmambetov Chases Moby Dick
Right, two things.....   Firstly i'd just like to echo the sentiments of the previous posts. Don't re-imagine a classic like Moby Dick,..stick to the source material otherwise you might as well get John Barrowman to star and call it Whale Attack!  Secondly, i'm quite sure a Sperm Whale is, in fact, a Whale..... not a Dolphin! If, Empire, you are adament that it is in fact a Dolphin,.... please back it up with some David Attenbrough-esque facts so wh More

Posted by lukeyboy at 09:29 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

Harpoon-Time Whale Based Destruction
So coming from the Nightwatch & Wanted guy, this will involve lots of slo mo destruction with swinging rotating camera shots of boats splintering and the tiny pieces hanging in the air, whilst the harpoons bend around corners and leave ripples of wind behind them. Gregory Peck must be turning in his grave. More

Posted by Karl Crutchley at 09:28 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

jaws?
indeed timon, this sounded immediately familiar with flashbacks of jaws coming to mind. The term charismatic scares me because they could very foolishly attempt to recreate a jack sparrow character More

Posted by jxt7559 at 08:47 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

Moby Dick
Hang on, so instead of making Moby Dick, they're going to make Jaws.... but with a whale. And Ahab's is going to be a charasmatic Quint-esque character instead of a man driven by revenge?! But surely that's the whole point of the story... a man's desire for revenge destroying himself and his crew. While I don't mind the odd re-imagining, this just sounds redundant. "And he piled upon the whale's white hump, the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had bee More

Posted by Timon at 08:43 on 23 September 2008 | Report This Post

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