Moby Dick is perhaps the archetypal story of humankind battling the animalistic forces of nature, but the real-world tale of the whaling ship Essex – documented in Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2000 non-fiction book titled “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” – was the inspiration behind Herman Melville’s famous novel.
The upcoming movie based on the Essex “incident” (from Oscar-winning director Ron Howard) is titled In the Heart of the Sea and is headlined by Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, alongside a sturdy troupe of character actors that includes Cillian Murphy, Benjamin Walker, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson, as well as such less-knowns like Osy Ikhile (who also costars in Mission: Impossible 5 next year), among others.
Previous trailers released for In the Heart of the Sea focused on what happens when the Essex crosses paths with the wrong sperm whale… and, to a degree, that remains the case with the newly-released theatrical preview (watch it above). However, this new trailer also begins to explore what actually constitutes the “meat” of the story told in Philbrick’s book – what transpired after the Essex’s crew had been shipwrecked after their encounter with the aforementioned white whale, thousands of miles from their home (and with little to no land in sight).
The shots of a scraggly-bearded Hemsworth included in the latest In the Heart of the Sea trailer – combined with the footage of the Essex’s crew struggling, physically and mentally, after being stranded at sea – indicates Howard’s film will, in fact, be more true to the substance of Philbrick’s book than the first trailer suggested. Good news too, since there’s very much more to this story than a bunch of sailors fighting a whale.
Oscar-nominee Charles Levitt (K-Pax, Blood Diamond) penned the adapted screenplay for In the Heart of the Sea, and Leavitt shares story credit with screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). The film’s narrative seems to be an intriguing mix of sea-faring adventure, drama, and grounded horror; Howard’s not always the most exciting director, but the tale of the Essex seems to have brought out some more lively and expressive filmmaking, on his end.
In the Heart of the Sea opens in U.S. theaters on March 13th, 2015.