24 January 2013 10:17 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Warner Bros. is fishing for Ron Howard to direct 19th century drama "In the Heart of the Sea," based on National Book Award winner Nathaniel Philbrick's novel. Chris Hemsworth is already on board to star as a sailor on the Essex, the doomed sea vessel which inspired Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." The project has a script penned by Charles Leavitt ("Blood Diamond"), and will reportedly go into production this fall. If Howard joins the project, it wouldn't be the first collaboration between him and the "Thor" star. The director is currently in post-production on "Rush," a biopic about Formula One driver Niki Lauda and his Brit rival, James Hunt -- played by Hemsworth. »

- Beth Hanna

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