Ron Howard is in line to direct 'In the Heart of the Sea'.

It has been reported Warner Bros. have approached 'The Dilemma' director to begin work on the nautical disaster movie, which has Chris Hemsworth attached as the lead.

Although claims talks are in the very early stages, neither of Ron's other projects - 'The Graveyard Book' and 'All I've Got' - are ready to shoot as both lack developed scripts and confirmed stars.

This new film has both, and the director also has history with in-demand lead Chris, having worked with him on upcoming Formula 1 biopic 'Rush'.

Inspired by the non-fiction book 'In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex' by Nathaniel Philbrick, the film will tell the story of the titular ship whose encounter with a whale was the inspiration behind Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick'.

The film - and its script by 'Blood Diamond' writer Charles Leavitt - has been in limbo for over a decade, but its financing from Warner Bros. could prove a lifeline if a team is brought together and work finally begins.