As far as classic properties getting worked over by Hollywood are concerned, Moby Dick is one I can get behind. Modernizing this classic story of man vs. beast, the ultimate story of revenge, just feels like it will work, and director Lynne Ramsay agrees.
Ramsay is currently promoting her festival darling We Need To Talk About Kevin, getting it ready for a wide release in January, but she’s already hinted that Moby Dick will be her next project. Speaking with BBC Radio (via First Showing), Ramsay let drop that not only will she be putting a new spin on Herman Melville’s classic, she’ll send the story to space with a hard sci-fi adaptation.
Like the novel, this new version will take place on just one vessel, though with any luck the film won’t spend half it’s run time describing the ship in excruciating details like the book does. It’s still early in the process, but here is Ramsay’s take on what to expect from her film:
It’s another monster movie, cos [sic] the monster’s Ahab. For a filmmaker, it’s really interesting, because it’s about this mad captain taking everyone on this crazy journey to their death, from his need to revenge. Making a film is like a crazy journey, and sometimes you go into dark waters, and you see some casualties along the way. It’s fascinating stuff, because there’s so much in it.
It looks good that Ramsay will be following up We Need To Talk About Kevin with her currently untitled Moby Dick film. She is currently working both on the script but also, as she puts it, using new technology to put together a trailer and mood boards to help flush out exactly what she wants to do with the story. While it isn’t mentioned if this is going to have any sort of deep horror aspects, it certainly sounds like it could be. Sunshine would be a close parable, a crew of desperate astronauts stuck in one space with one goal in mind. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy let alone with the influence of an already crazy Ahab character.
Ramsay’s Moby Dick will likely get a lot of attention after her showing with Kevin so expect to hear more about this soon.