Based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s prize-winning nonfiction book, director Ron Howard’s picture about the fate of a ship following a deadly attack by a sperm whale some two centuries ago will sail into theaters December 11. Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, Brendan Gleeson and Jordi Molla star in the true story of a ship’s crew adrift at sea for three months and their desperate struggle to survive. The attack by a monstrous, impossibly vicious whale inspired Herman Melville’s legendary Moby Dick. Howard’s movie was originally slated to open in March but Warner Bros and Village Roadshow made the decision to reposition it squarely in awards season.

Howard directs from a screenplay by Charles Leavitt, story by Charles Leavitt and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, based on Philbrick’s In The Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. The film is produced by Joe Roth, Paula Weinstein, Will Ward, Brian Grazer and Howard.