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September 23, 2008 - Moby Dick

Scooped on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Timur Bekmambetov, the director of Wanted and Night Watch, is now attached to helm an updated version of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick. Universal Pictures stepped in and bought Bill Collage and Adam Cooper's take on the story which dispenses with the book's first-person account of the action. In the novel the story of Captain Ahab's obsession with killing the white whale is told through the eyes of Ishmael; in Collage and Cooper's screenplay, the story will unfold third-person. Scenes showing Moby Dick attacking vessels prior to the events in the novel have also been added to the screenplay, as well as an effort to soften the character of Ahab. Instead of being a man who is all-consumed with hunting the whale over his good judgment the movie's Ahab will have redeeming qualities that make him a better leader of his men.

"Our vision isn't your grandfather's Moby Dick," Cooper said to Variety. "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."

Universal paid high six figures for the idea and now the writers will work on the script. Bekmambetov could also direct a sequel to his smash summer hit Wanted before working on Moby Dick since both projects are at the same studio. The film's producers will be Scott Stuber, Jim Lemley and the screenwriting duo of Cormac and Marianne Wibberley (The Sixth Day, National Treasure).

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