The $25 million made-for-TV adaptation of Herman Melville’s iconic tale, Moby Dick, has added Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Charlie Cox (Stardust) and Donald Sutherland (It’s Donald Sutherland) to their already talented cast. As we’ve previously reported, William Hurt and Ethan Hawke have already signed on to star as the obsessive Captain Ahab (Hurt) and his unruly first officer, Starbuck (Hawke).

With Moby Dick being the most expensive production to date for Tele Munchen Group (TMG), they’re leaving nothing to chance. Nigel Williams has penned the script with Mike Barker directing. Barker is best known for directing the critically acclaimed, Sea Wolf, while Williams famously wrote the script for the award-winning 2005 miniseries, Elizabeth I. Both Sea Wolf and Elizabeth I are TMG productions.

Being a fan of the HBO series, Elizabeth I, and I’m interested in seeing what Williams will do with Melville’s novel. While I wasn’t as much of a fan of Sea Wolf, I felt that Barker did a wonderful job directing the sea-faring tale. Let’s see what he can do with, in my opinion, a better story.

The news of this adaptation comes over a year after hearing word of Universal’s plans to produce a “re-imagining” of Moby Dick with Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) directing and Adam Cooper (Accepted, New York Minute) & Bill Collage (Accepted, New York Minute) penning the script. Bekmambetov’s (say that three times) intentions were to remove the Ishmael narration and add a more graphic novel-style look to the story. I have to be honest; I’m more interested in TMG’s TV adaptation than one with a Sin City look and an Olsen twins script (New York Minute).

Shooting will begin on Moby Dick this month and is to be completed by fall 2010.

Source: Variety