Whalefall: Brian Duffield to direct “swallowed by a whale” thriller

Spontaneous and No One Will Save You director Brian Duffield has signed on to helm the survival thriller Whalefall

Last August, we heard that Imagine Entertainment had picked up the film rights to Daniel Kraus’s “swallowed by a whale” thriller novel Whalefall (you can buy a copy at THIS LINK) and now Deadline has a cool update on the project: 20th Century Studios has come out the winner in a bidding war over the Whalefall theatrical distribution rights, and Brian Duffield – who recently worked with 20th Century on the alien invasion film No One Will Save You – has signed on to co-write, direct, and produce the film.

Duffield is working on the screenplay with Kraus, and here’s the story they’ll be bringing to the screen: Jay Gardiner has given himself a fool’s errand – to find the remains of his deceased father in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Monastery Beach. He knows it’s a long shot, but Jay feels it’s the only way for him to lift the weight of guilt he has carried since his dad’s death by suicide the previous year. The dive begins well enough, but the sudden appearance of a giant squid puts Jay in very real jeopardy, made infinitely worse by the arrival of a sperm whale looking to feed. Suddenly, Jay is caught in the squid’s tentacles and drawn into the whale’s mouth where he is pulled into the first of its four stomachs. He quickly realizes he has only one hour before his oxygen tanks run out – one hour to defeat his demons and escape the belly of a whale. Suspenseful and cinematic, Whalefall is an “astoundingly great” (Gillian Flynn, New York Times bestselling author) thriller about a young man who has given up on life… only to find a reason to live in the most dangerous and unlikely of places.

What a shorter description? Whalefall is “The Martian meets 127 Hours,” a “scientifically accurate thriller about a scuba diver who’s been swallowed by an eighty-foot, sixty-ton sperm whale and has only one hour to escape before his oxygen runs out.

Duffield is producing the film alongside Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Allan Mandelbaum of Imagine Entertainment. Richard Abate and Will Rowbotham of 3 Arts Entertainment serve as executive producers. J.R. Young is overseeing the project for 20th Century Studios.

In addition to writing and directing No One Will Save You, Duffield also worked on the screenplays for Jane Got a Gun, The Babysitter, Underwater, and Love and Monsters, and he created the Netflix animated series Skull Island. He made his feature directorial debut with Spontaneous.

What do you think of Brian Duffield signing on to direct Whalefall? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Whalefall Daniel Kraus

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.