Chris Hemsworth has signed on for In the Heart of the Sea, a Joe Roth-produced true story of the 19th century whaling vessel Essex, Deadline reports. The incident, which served as the basis for Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," was the subject of a 2001 Nathaniel Philbrick nonfiction book, upon which the film will be based. It is officially described as follows:
The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little–known documents-including a long–lost account written by the ship’s cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.
The script has been adapted by Blood Diamond scribe Charles Leavitt and, while no studio is officially announced, the trade suggests that DreamWorks is interested.