Serra, Cooper Learn “There Be Monsters”

“Unknown” and “Orphan” helmer Jaume Collet-Serra is in negotiations to direct the long-gestating history-meets-Lovecraftian beasties mashup “Here There Be Monsters” at Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures says Vulture.

The story follows Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones, but throws in tentacled monsters of the deep to the mix. An offer is out to Bradley Cooper to play Jones.

Brian Helgeland penned the script in which Jones is wrongly stripped of his British naval commission and is hired by a shipping magnate to investigate the disappearance of merchant ships in the North Atlantic. Jones and his crew suspect that it’s the handiwork of a sea monster and have to fight to survive it.

Both Robert Zemeckis and Brad Bird have previously flirted with potentially directing project but ultimately passed. Collet-Serra has been brought aboard to ready the script for an early 2013 start, filming to begin once Cooper wraps “The Hangover Part III”.

Cooper however won’t be formally offered the role until Collet-Serra finishes his script polish. The filmmaker remains attached to the revisionist Dracula tale “Harker” also at Warners.