Irish actors join the fact-based drama.

Ron Howard has cast Irish stars Brendan Gleeson (‘The Company You Keep,’ ‘The Guard’) and Sam Keeley (‘What Richard Did,’ ‘This Must Be the Place’) in his ocean-set drama ‘In The Heart of the Sea.’

As previously reported, the film is an adaptation of the 2011 novel by Nathaniel Philbrick and tells the tale of Nantucket whaling ship the ‘Essex.’ In 1819, the ‘Essex’ left port for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. The ordeal of the Essex inspired Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick.’

The actors join a cast that includes Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Walker.

According to Variety, Gleeson will play an older version of one of the surviving crew members who is interviewed years later by Herman Melville about his experience aboard the ship, while Offaly native Keeley will be playing one of the crew members.

Gleeson will next be seen starring in ‘The Smurfs’ sequel when it hit Irish cinemas July 31st followed by John Michael Mcdonagh’s ‘Calvary’ in November. Keeley can be seen next in Gez Medinger and Robin Schmidt’s horror thriller ‘After Death,’ followed by ‘Monsters: Dark Continent,’ the sequel to Gareth Edwards 2010 sleeper hit ‘Monsters.’