Variety reported that Hurt will play Capt. Ahab and Hawke will play Starbuck, his first officer on the good ship Pequod. The production price tag for the TV movie for TMG is $25 million, reportedly the most expensive movie in the history of the cable channel.
Mike Barker will direct a script by Nigel Williams (HBO's miniseries "Elizabeth I"). Computer special effects will play a large role in the 1851 high-seas adventure (also known for its religious themes).
No presentation date has been announced; production will be complete by fall 2010.
"Moby Dick" was also seen as a 1998 cable TV movie starring Patrick Stewart. Gregory Peck played Ahab in the 1856 Hollywood feature. John Barrymore was Ahab in a 1930 pic.