Colin Firth to Play Donald Crowhurst in Biopic

10 Feb

Talk about a long wait. The book, The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall, was completely out of print for some years, but a cult favorite and the subject of many late night cockpit ruminations.

It tells the tale of Donald Crowhurst who, along with the likes of Bernard Moitessier, Robin Knox-Johnson, and Chay Blyth, entered the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968, the first singlehanded, non-stop round-the-world race. Indebted and under intense pressure to succeed, yet woefully unprepared and inexperienced, Crowhurst never made it farther than the South Atlantic. He faked his positions to appear he was in the lead, then went mad and committed suicide. The story has come back into vogue, just from the passing of time, or somehow reflective of our current fascinations and insecurities.

The excellent documentary, Deep Water, came out in 2006, telling the story with excellent original footage and interviews. I give it my highest recommendation:

But now the story is hitting the big time, a full Hollywood production: blue chip director, blue chip writer, and Oscar winner for best actor, Colin Firth, playing Crowhurst. You’ve got to admit they really look alike:

I can’t wait! I’m very excited to see how Hollywood spins the tale…or completely botches it. Please, please, oh pleeeeeze don’t blow it with the sailing stuff. Hire a simple technical consultant – any one of us will do – to consult on the film so the sailing bits aren’t rendered ridiculous to sailors, like All Is Lost, The Perfect Storm, or pretty much every other movie about sailing or the sea. Please don’t have white squalls materializing out of nowhere, 100-foot waves swallowing boats, vicious sharks chewing on rudders, or people dangling from rigging for no good reason with lit cutting torches with no hoses attached to them.

I wonder who’ll play Sir Robin Knox-Johnson? I’m going with Geoffrey Rush.

This article was syndicated from The Adventures of the Vessel Condesa


  1. Clark Beek

    UPDATE: They’ve definitely begun filming, some on the south of England, and some in Malta. Rachel Weisz is playing Crowhurst’s wife, and other A-list Brit actors in supporting roles. No mention of Sir Robin, so my hopes of him being played by Geoffrey Rush, who I think looks a lot like him, go unanswered.

    Lots of paparazzi photos here:

  2. g robertson

    If I am not mistaken they had made a film in the late seventy’s About this strange case. Staring Broderick Crawford Of all people, I am a bit vague on some of the details. But they tied up the marina where I was docked for several weeks. It was rather a “B” film Although fun to watch the filming

  3. Wolfie B

    Cate Blanchett as Clare Crowhurst?
    Paul Bettany as Bernard Moitissier?

    Ah, the possibilities.

    But one really hopes that it won’t be another _All Is Lost_

  4. Nelson de

    My hard cover copy of the Strange Last Voyage shows First published 1970 and Copyright 1970.
    It has a hand written inscription dated November, 2, 1970 signed by Kay.

  5. S D Lyman

    Maybe Sail could offer to provide tech support pro bono in exchange for the right to cover the making of the film. It would be great to have a level of authenticity equal to “Saving Pvt Ryan”

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