Cillian Murphy has joined the cast of Ron Howard's "In The Heart Of The Sea" at Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures.
Based on Nathaniel Philbrick's fact-based book, it follows the 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 and were lost at see for three months, at one point they were reduced to cannibalism. Only eight were ultimately rescued. The incident was the inspiration for Herman Melville's "Moby Dick."
Chris Hemsworth is already attached to play the first mate Owen Chase who was supplanted as captain of the whaling ship by a better connected rival named George Pollard (Benjamin Walker). After the attack, he becomes the hero who leads some of them to safety.
Murphy will play Matthew Joy, the ship's second mate. Tom Holland also stars. Brian Grazer, Joe Roth, Paula Weinstein and William Ward are producing and film begins in London in mid-September.