Many a high school English student has turned to a video of the 1950s film adaptation of Moby-Dick when faced with writing a report on lengthy sea tale. The plot details may remain mostly the same, but the movie version has as much to do with a more contemporary American novelist as it does with Herman Melville.
In 1953, up and coming writer Ray Bradbury was approached by director John Huston to pen the screenplay for legendary filmmaker’s adaptation of Melville’s great american novel.
Why did Huston tap the author of The Illustrated Man and Fahrenheit 451 to be a rookie screenwriter for what would be a tricky adaptation?
In the video below, Ray Bradbury Unbound author Jonathan R. Eller tells the story of how Bradbury came to write the screenplay for Huston’s Moby Dick, which is detailed in the book.
Eller is a Chancellor’s Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, the senior textual editor of the Institute for American Thought, and director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI. His previous book, Becoming Ray Bradbury, was a runner-up for the 2011 Locus Award for best nonfiction book in the science fiction and fantasy field.