Ben Whishaw has signed up to play Moby Dick author Herman Melville in Ron Howard's adaptation of In the Heart of the Sea.

The 32-year-old Skyfall actor will join Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy, Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Osy Ikhile and Tom Holland in the forthcoming action film, according to TheWrap.

In the Heart of the Sea follows the crew of a whaling ship that is destroyed by a sperm whale, stranding them at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.

Gleeson will play an older version of one of the survivors who is interviewed by Melville about his experiences aboard the ship, while Ikhile will play a sailor named Peterson.

 In the Heart of the Sea is scheduled to begin shooting in September.