Chris Hemsworth to battle a giant whale

Chris Hemsworth is ready to do battle with Mother Nature.

The Aussie actor, who's coming off a blockbuster summer with his starring roles in both "The Avengers" and "Snow White and the Huntsman," has signed on for a lead role in "In the Heart of the Sea," which will dramatize the real-life adventure tale that inspired Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick."

"In the Heart of the Sea" is based on the 2000 book of the same name by Nathaniel Philbrick, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. It tells the story of the Whaleship Essex, a Nantucket-based craft that was stalked and finally destroyed by a sperm whale while on an 1820 expedition. Following the calamity, the surviving crewmembers, stranded far from home, must struggle to survive and are ultimately forced to resort to cannibalism.

Hemsworth will star as a first mate who heroically leads the crew to safety following the whale attack.