After hitting the road in Rush, actor Chris Hemsworth and director Ron Howard will take to the high seas for their next project. In the Heart of the Sea takes inspiration from Herman Melville‘s novel Moby Dick, but is actually based on Nathaniel Philbrick‘s book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, which tracks a whaling ship in 1920 that go up against their prey and are stranded at sea.

“It has a lot of action in it, and that’s vitally important,” Howard tells USA Today. “But it’s also dependent on rich characters and nuanced emotional performances, and those are all aspects of the movie we’re also dealing with under great physical duress.” The first trailer has now arrived which shows off a good deal of that action, which looks quite epic in scale, in part thanks to cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle. Check it out below for the film also starring Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, Brendan Gleeson, and Jordi Mollà.

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. “Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.


In the Heart of the Sea opens on March 13th, 2015.

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