You might think that after being threatened by a tsunami in The Impossible, Tom Holland would want to stay away from water for a while. But apparently not: Ron Howard has cast him in Warner Bros.' sea-going adventure tale In The Heart Of The Sea.
The story was floating around last July with Chris Hemsworth attached to star. Since then, Warners snapped up the film, and Ron Howard showed real interest in making it. Now he’s officially aboard and has begun adding actors to work alongside Thor - who he's just worked with, of course, on Rush (and you can see the new trailer for that here).
Charles Leavitt has adapted Nathaniel Philbrick’s award-scooping tome, which chronicles the trials of the whaling ship Essex. A tragic fact-based tale of courage, cannibalism and one very angry cetacean, the Essex was stalked and destroyed by a sperm whale in 1820. The crew of 20 were lost at sea for 90 days, during which they were forced to draw lots to decide which among them got eaten. The real story was partly the inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
Holland is set as Young Nickerson, an eager aspiring whaleman. He’ll report for duty in September when Howard starts shooting in London and on location, presumably on the water.
The logistical challenges and dark tone of the film have made getting it into production a struggle, with more than one director boarding and then jumping off the project - but it now looks like Howard's the man to get it made. Holland, who scooped the Best Male Newcomer award at this year’s Jameson Empire Awards (see his acceptance speech below), will next be seen in Kevin McDonald’s How I Live Now and Steven Knight’s Locke.