Call Thomas Ishmael for USA mini

Henry Thomas, who at age 10 starred in “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” has been cast as Ishmael in a USA Network miniseries version of the Herman Melville sea classic “Moby Dick.”

Mini, the first for USA, has been slated for a 12-week shoot in Melbourne, Australia, beginning May 26. Project is expected to premiere during the fourth quarter of ’97.

Steve McLaughlin will produce and Franc Roddam is set to direct the Hallmark Entertainment production from exec producer Robert Halmi Sr.

Now 24, Thomas will star opposite the previously announced Patrick Stewart (playing Captain Ahab) and Gregory Peck as Father Mapple, a role played by Orson Welles in the 1956 edition of “Moby Dick,” directed by John Huston. In that film, Peck portrayed Ahab.

Most recently, Thomas completed work on the independent feature “Suicide King,” opposite Christopher Walken. He co-starred in 1995’s “Legends of the Fall” and portrayed Raymond Buckey in HBO’s Emmy-winning docudrama “Indictment,” based on the McMartin preschool molestation trial.

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