Robert Connolly Steering The Ship Killer

Adapting Justin Scott's naval novel

Vengeance on the high seas! It’s a subject that really doesn’t feature in enough movies (probably because shooting around boats and water is expensive and difficult). But it’s something that Australian filmmaker Robert Connolly is looking to tackle as he adapts Justin Scott’s novel The Shipkiller.

Originally published in 1978, the book follows what happens when a couple’s boat, the Siren, is destroyed in a collision with a massive oil tanker. The huge vessel – the Leviathan – sails on unknowingly, leaving Peter Hardin injured and his wife Carolyn dead.

Peter’s search for justice in the courts leads nowhere, so he goes on an epic hunt for the people responsible, sailing to various ports in search of vengeance.

Gale Anne Hurd and her Valhalla Entertainment company are working with Aussie production outfit Arenamedia to get this one made. As of right now, there’s no cast attached, but if the script is right, it sounds like it could attract some big names.

It’s not the first time that Scott’s tome has sailed the development seas towards the big screen as Connolly explains: “This is an extraordinary novel that was almost made in 1979 with Sean Connery and David Niven, and I am ecstatic to be working with the remarkably talented Gale Anne Hurd to finally bring this brilliant novel and tale to life,” said Connolly. “Ever since seeing Phillip Noyce’s terrific Dead Calm, I had wanted to find the perfect thriller at sea and this is surely it."