Ron Howard must have a had a good experience working on the upcoming racing drama Rush with Chris Hemsworth, because they’re back together again for In the Heart of the Sea, an adaptation of the real life story that inspired the classic novel, Moby Dick. It’s an incredibly harrowing tale set in 1819 about the whaleship Essex that was attacked by a sperm whale. The surviving crew lived atop drifting wreckage for 90 days.

In the Heart of the Sea is very different kind of film than Howard’s upcoming feature Rush. It features an impressive ensemble cast including Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins), and Ben Whishaw (Skyfall). Production on the film has officially begun, with the studio releasing a synopsis and a press release.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the film, check out the synopsis below:

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Melville’s ‘Moby-Dick.’ But that told only half the story.

‘Heart of the Sea’ reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

A couple weeks ago, Ron Howard also tweeted the following teaser image:

In the Heart of the Sea seems like a change of pace for the acclaimed director. Though Howard has previously adapted books to film, he’s rarely dealt with a story as harrowing as that of the Essex. Sure, Apollo 13 had its moments, but none of them involved (for example) cannibalism.

Despite being well into his sixties, Howard continues to challenge himself as a director by taking on different kinds of projects. And while we may never see his planned Dark Tower series – despite claims from Howard that it’s still not dead – we can still look forward to all the good and unique films he has in the pipeline.

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl in ‘Rush’

As for Chris Hemsworth – it’ll be interesting to see the actor continue to distance himself from his role as Thor as he takes on roles in films like Rush and In the Heart of the Sea.

With an interesting story, impressive cast, and a top tier director, In the Heart of the Sea will most certainly be a film to keep your eye on. Are you looking forward to it, Screen Rant readers? Let us know in the comments.

The release date of In the Heart of the Sea hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Source: Collider & Ron Howard’s Twitter Account