There was a movie about a decade ago called Hijacking Hollywood that featured a movie-within-a-movie that was a soulless, megabudget, Hollywood special effects extravaganza version of Moby Dick. Now here we are ten years later and that in-joke is about to become a reality.
Variety reports that Universal is revving up for a CGI-laden “re-imagining” of Moby Dick that sounds like it’ll have less in common with Herman Melville’s classic novel and more along the lines of Orca on steroids. The studio wants Timur Bekmambetov, director of the Russian Night Watch films and this past summer’s Wanted, a motion picture one of the critics over at Spill.com astutely summarized as “Harry Potter for Columbine kids”, to direct from a script to be written by the duo that penned the Olson Twins’ New York Minute. Co-producing the film will be the husband and wife duo known collectively as “The Wibberleys” AKA the writers of the National Treasure movies. Oh, this just keeps getting better and better.
First-person narrative is out. Plenty of footage of the white whale laying waste to multiple ships is in. Gone will be the revenge-minded-to-the-point-of-crazy Captain Ahab in favor of a more heroic Ahab trying to do the world a favor by slaying a killer sea monster even as his own crew plans a mutiny. I’m shocked they’re not setting it in modern times while they’re at it. Still time to cast Marlon Wayans as the wisecracking Queequag while they’re at it too.
In claiming reverence for the source material while promising a more “graphic novel sensibility”, co-writer Bill Collage is actually quoted saying the following:
“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.”
Welcome to Hollywood, kiddies. Call me … flabbergasted.
On second thought, call me giddy. This sounds like a train wreck in the making. Sure, there’s always a slim chance the movie could turn out genuinely good. More likely it’ll end up being a great big wet pile of overblown cheese of the nature gone amok variety. I wasn’t joking earlier when I wrote “Orca on steroids”. I for one cannot wait. Bring it on!
And yet somehow Steve Alten’s Meg has yet to make it to the big screen. The mind boggles.
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