So Universal wants Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch) to direct a new adaptation of Moby Dick? Even though I feel like I’ve got a good idea of what this will look like, does this have to be the worst artistic news of the day? Yeah. It does.
Now, while Wanted was relentlessly stupid and aggressively simple-minded, I can’t say I wasn’t entertained. (Until the final call to violence, at which point I wanted to punch Bekmambetov.) And there might be worse things than making a stupid and single-minded version of Moby Dick; the story at least fits into the same thematic wheelhouse as Wanted, if you stretch it a little.
This might be stretching too much, though. Writers Adam Cooper and Bill Collage plan to re-work things dramatically. Their narrative plans a mutiny against self-appointed story captain Ishmael. The idea is that without his dry first-person narration we’ll get to see how bad-ass the white whale is as it attacks ships other than the Pequod. More to the point, Variety claims this Captain Ahab will be presented in a light that flatters his heroic aspects rather than focusing on that tired crazy-revenge thing that the tedious original beat into the ground.
But will Ishmael still be shacking up with Queequeg? Will they still share a ‘pipe’?
Explaining the changes, co-writer Collage says “we wanted to take a graphic novel sensibility to a classic narrative.” Huh. Good idea. Wish someone had thought of it sooner. Cooper says “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,” which is as perfect a statement as you need.
By the way, at least one person responsible for the two National Treasure movies is producing. Throw a spear at that.