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.