Marching into a box office battle against “Star Wars” would be a David and Goliath-type duel for any film, yet such a move somehow seems right for Ron Howard’s epic “In the Heart of the Sea” given its survive-against-the-odds storyline. The movie opens on December 11, just days before J.J. Abrams anticipated sequel storms theaters.
Starring Chris Hemsworth in his second collaboration with Howard after “Rush,” the historical disaster film recounts the story that inspired Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” During an 1820 voyage, the whaleship Essex was sunk by a large bull sperm whale, forcing the crew to survive on the open ocean for 90 days and fight the untamed beast. Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson also star.
The last time Howard brought stranded adventurers to the big screen, it was the miraculous “Apollo 13,” and the supremely intense new trailer for “Sea” looks to be cut from the same cloth in the best way possible. Featuring a handful of dazzling CGI shots and no shortage of harrowing human drama, the trailer hints that the movie could be a late-in-the-game awards player.