Moby Dick Remake in the Works

Filed under "Why god, WHY" comes this article from Variety that reports that Universal Pictures will be "reimagining" Herman Melville's Moby Dick, with "Wanted" director Timur Bekmambetov slated to direct.

First of all, I despise the word "reimagining." In Hollywood parlance, it basically means to take a story that worked and then re-write it in a way that someone THINKS might be more appealing to the target demographic, while also changing every detail that made the original so good. The irony of the word is amusing because most "reimagining" usually involves the most unimaginative, predictable of changes. Like perhaps re-making "Lawrence of Arabia," but including a female character to work in a love-story sub-plot. Oh and there has to be a sex scene. And maybe some really cool CGI...And you know, while we're at it, its tough to shoot in the desert, so lets base the whole thing in Canada instead. We can get a great tax break if we shoot there. And period pieces are budget nightmares, so lets set it in modern times...

See my point?

So now here we are with a re-imagining of Herman Melville's 1851 novel, a classic piece of treasured literature, being re-written by two guys who's biggest claim to fame has been a semi-funny teen movie staring that guy from "Superbad" and that other guy from the Mac commercials.

Here's what Variety says we have in store for us:

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.

Oh good. Let's make Captain Ahab a tough, good-looking hero with a heart of gold. And hey, let's write it so that Ahab isnt trying to kill the whale, but rather save it from evil Japanese fisherman or something. Brilliant!

"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."

Oh yeah, there's PLENTY of creativity left in Hollywood. There are thousands of other classic books mouldering on the shelves of that forgotton building called a Library just waiting to be desecrated.

Stay tuned.

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