Roughly ten months after it began filming and eight months before Warner Bros. opens it on 3.15.15, Ron Howard‘s In The Heart of The Sea is having a research screening on Thursday evening, 7.24, at the Sherman Oaks Arclight. I won’t post any reactions or even run a summary, but should anyone attend I’ve love to hear how it plays. Privately, pure curiosity. Howard’s film, a period action-drama costarring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson, is basically a Moby Dick origin tale mixed with another shipwrecked-at-sea, survival-in-a-lifeboat saga a la Life of Pi, All Is Lost and Unbroken.
The screenplay (co-authored by Charles Leavitt, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Peter Morgan) is based on Nathan Philbrick‘s book of the same name, published in 2000, about the sinking of the whaleship Essex in the Pacific Ocean in 1820. The tragedy, allegedly caused by an angry bull sperm whale, inspired Herman Melville to write “Moby-Dick” (1851). The Essex crew tried to sail to South America in whaleboats. Most of them bought it before a rescue happened in February 1821.