Chris Hemsworth is having a fantastic summer at the box office and is using his rising star to chose interesting roles. Deadline is reporting he rising star is attached to star in In the Heart of the Sea, the disaster story that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Based on the National Book Award-winning book by Nathaniel Philbrick, In The Heart Of The Sea is the fact-based tale of Nantucket whaling ship the Essex, which was stalked and ultimately destroyed by a sperm whale in 1820. Stranded thousands of miles from home, the crew struggled to survive; they were lost at sea for 90 days. The script is written by Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond) and word is that Dreamworks is in talks to produce the picture.

Hemsworth has certainly proved his ability as an action star, but this is the type of role that would allow him to also show off his dramatic range. The movie sounds like it could have some great potential, especially due to the link to one of the great American novels.

Deadline also offers the following plot synopsis: [Hemsworth] plays a first mate who was supplanted as captain of the whaling ship by a better connected rival. When the ship was attacked by the sperm whale in the Pacific, he becomes the hero who leads some of them to safety. A total of 20 crewmen, the captain and first mate escaped in small whaling boats. An isolated tropical island was just 1000 miles downwind, but the captain ordered them to head the other way, out of fear of false rumors of flesh-eating savages on the island. Because they headed to South America, the boats were stranded. The survivors were ironically forced to become cannibals, casting lots in one ship to see who had to die and who had to execute him so others could eat and survive. That’s part of the tale, but another big part is the depiction of the New England whaling industry of the 1800s, when men risked their lives to chase and harpoon whales for their oil.