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September 23, 2008 | Comments ()


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Moby Dick Gets the 300 Treatment

From Hell's Heart I Stab at Thee / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | September 23, 2008 | Comments ()


I had a pretty cool 11th grade English teacher, despite the fact that she threw me out of her journalism class for writing an essay on the glory of the F word (does no one have a sense of humor anymore?). Anyway, whenever she’d assign a novel that would inevitably generate controversy (it was the Bible belt), she always offered students and their parents an alternate book. And that alternate book was always Moby Dick. Think there’s a gay subtext in the 208-page A Separate Peace? No problem! You think that the 112-page Of Mice and Men is too violent? No worries. Oh, and fuck you. Here, read this 720-page monstrosity!

Funny, no one ever took her up on the offer.

Anyway, Hollywood is taking another crack at Moby Dick, and this time, they’re going to take a non-traditional approach. In other words, they’re going to use the title and the whale, and leave the rest to high-schoolers with narrow-minded parents. And if there was ever a book that needed to be “updated” (read: bastardized) by the studios, it’s Moby Dick.

The good news is that Timur Bekmambetov will be directing (known to most as the director of Wanted, but more fondly by some as the director of the Night Watch series). He will apparently be taking a “graphic novel” approach to the material, and turning Captain Ahab into a hero, or “charismatic leader” (Zoinks!. In fact, it looks more like a 300 / Jaws, hybrid, where the focus will be on Moby Dick’s destruction of ships up and until he takes on Ahab’s whaling ship, Pequod. They’re calling it an action-adventure revenge tale.

I probably shouldn’t be admitting as much, but I don’t mind a Hollywood version of Moby Dick, particularly one directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Unfortunately, the bad news is in the choice of scriptwriters, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, most famous for writing the script for the middling Mac Guy comedy, Accepted, which is kind of like hiring Rob Schneider to play the lead in a JFK biography. In other words, it’s a terrible fucking idea.


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