Article on ‘Moby Dick’ remake sounds like rejected Onion piece

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Bad. Ass.

Bekmambetov to direct ‘Moby Dick’
Universal steers reimagining of Melville classic

Universal Pictures has made a splashy preemptive buy of “Moby Dick,” a reimagining of the Herman Melville whale tale that Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”) will direct.

The writers revere Melville’s original text, but their graphic novel-style version will change the structure. Gone is the first-person narration by the young seaman Ishmael, who observes how Ahab’s obsession with killing the great white whale overwhelms his good judgment as captain.

This change will allow them to depict the whale’s decimation of other ships prior to its encounter with Ahab’s Pequod, and Ahab will be depicted more as a charismatic leader than a brooding obsessive.

“Our vision isn’t your grandfather’s ‘Moby Dick,’ ” Cooper said. “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.”

I am beyond excited for this.  Melville’s original was fine back in the day, but I continually found myself exhausted while reading it.

Even possessing what I’d consider above-average concentration skills, I’d wager that 99.9% of readers can not simultaneously read while mentally constructing constant slow-motion shots, bullet-time effects, CGI backdrops, tits and what Prodigy track would be playing while it’s all unfolding. By page 40, I had two cups of coffee, a splitting headache and had used “First Warning” seven times. Having Bekmambetov behind the wheel means that I can finally do what I’ve always wanted in regards to Moby Dick: shut my brain off and enjoy the ride, just as Melville intended.

I have zero ideas on casting Ahab at the moment. You need a modern man of action, preferably someone with martial arts skills who would look good sliding down the mast of a sinking ship while firing twin handguns at a rampaging CGI whale and making a quip (“Eat this, Dick”?) Obviously, Bekmambetov will continue his relationship with Angelina Jolie and hire her to voice the beast (who shares a telepathic link and sexual tension with Ahab). They’re the new DeNiro/Scorsese or Pacino/Avnet.

My only concern is the title.  While Hollywood is always eager for the opportunity to promote their left coast values*, they have to understand that teen boys & mouth-breathing adults aren’t going to see something with the word “Dick” in the title. While we’re at it, “Moby” sounds suspiciously femme, too.

Might I suggest moD (pronounced “MoeDee”)? It flows nicely and doesn’t threaten my sexuality. For additional coolness, they could replace the “o” with a zero (M0d).

* Although the tide may be turning.  Note the difficulties director Steven Spielberg and his “partner” Peter Jackson are having raising funding for their hundred million dollar adaptation of the popular French gay adult comic strip, TinTin.

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16 responses »

  1. You don’t think that “Smack My Bitch Up” works better? I think the conflation of “Bitch” and “Dick” adds a lot of thematic weight.

    Also, I must quibble on the title. I’d call it Sea Watch. Also, I’d make it not so much a whale, but a whale-like deformity. Probably with tentacles.

    And Shia LeBeouf as Ishmael is the only way to go here.

  2. I’d make it not so much a whale, but a whale-like deformity. Probably with tentacles.

    Oooh, I like. Build a Cloverfield-esque mystery around the creature’s appearance until release!

    It’s so funny how it’s all coming together, because I think Melville himself (to be credited as “Groundbreaking Graphic Novelist” in trailers) would have pitched it as 300 meets Jaws meets LOST.

    Things are really on an upswing in Hollywood with both this and Rob Zombie’s To Kill a Mockingbird hitting the fast track.

  3. I have zero ideas on casting Ahab at the moment.

    Tom Cruise?

    My only concern is the title. While Hollywood is always eager for the opportunity to promote their left coast values*, they have to understand that teen boys & mouth-breathing adults aren’t going to see something with the word “Dick” in the title. While we’re at it, “Moby” sounds suspiciously femme, too.

    Mobb Deep. He’s a gangster whale.

    Have Moby do the soundtrack. It’s, like, destiny.

  4. Tom Cruise? Please. Knowing now what we do, it’s clear that Morgan Freeman took that role in Wanted just to get himself on Bekmambetov’s good side.

    Speaking of whom, I’ve got another idea. A lot of whales live in cold water, right? There’s got to be a way to work killer penguins into the story.

  5. I’d say you could toss an environmental angle in (say, global warming is making all of the planet’s aquatic creatures into homicidal terrors) but that could keep away the core audience.

    Global warming is a myth, propagated by the MSM and known terror sympathizer George Clooney.

  6. Ahab as a black man? Chasing the “great white whale”? I like it.

    There’s got to be a way to work killer penguins into the story.

    Yeah, they should look like this.

  7. I’m sure that’s how this was pitched. Let’s hope they learned from the lessons of Orca: The Killer Whale.

    Do you think they’ll do multiple whales in the sequels?

  8. Maybe a few killer whales, but mostly bigger and badder, blockbuster style.

    “You’ve met the great white whale… Now meet the humongous blue whale!”

    Or maybe an octopus even. They could do a cross-over with this and Captain Nemo. And Pinocchio.

  9. What it should be called is OBVIOUS. Melville’s Original title of the story: “The Whale.”

    I just had the brilliant idea to write this screenplay when I went on Google only to find it was already in development. From what I’ve read about the script, I think I could do it much better (but, hey… that’s just me.)

  10. The artist’s name is Thomas Neely and you can view his gallery at:
    http://www.iwilldestroyyou.com

    I know this because a graphic design studio from Berlin emailed me today asking who was responsible for the image as they’d like to use it in a publication. So anyway, glad I finally researched it!

  11. Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) is directing a futuristic, outer space-set Moby Dick later this year. Not sure if that’s the final nail in Timur Bekmambetov’s version, but I do hope not.

    Worst case, Bekmambetov moves on to his long planned To Kill a Mockingbird reboot (parkour! explosions! slow-motion! bullet time! Boo Radley as a 18 foot tall CGI monster!) based on Harper Lee’s groundbreaking graphic novel.

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