The number of high-profile studio releases left on the calendar has begun to dwindle as America turns the page on October and begins August. Some of the most exciting films still awaiting a theatrical debut have already proven themselves around the festival circuit earlier this year — your Carols, your Spotlights, what have you — but a handful of question marks still remain on the docket. No reports on Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight or David O. Russell’s Joy have surfaced as of yet, but today brings a new trailer for one of the other remaining enigmas in 2015.

The final trailer for Ron Howard’s seafaring epic In the Heart of the Sea breached for air yesterday, offering audiences one last glimpse of the film’s grizzled splendor before its full release. For his first feature since his one-two punch of racing drama Rush with the Jay-Z documentary Made in America in 2013, Howard went all out, harkening back to the widescreen sweep of his blockbuster Apollo 13. The film centers on the crew of the doomed whaling ship Essex, the vessel that would go on to inspire Herman Melville to pen Moby Dick, and the gallant men who formed its crew. In the previous trailer, audiences bore witness to the 18th-century grandeur of First Mate Chris Hemsworth (reuniting with Howard after starring in Rush, a definite high point in his filmography), joined onboard by the likes of Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, Benjamin Walker, and Cillian Murphy. But this new trailer gives a fuller impression of their nemesis, the terrible and majestic whale that designates their vessel as an enemy that must be destroyed.

The trailer has no shortage of color-graded action, with driving torrents of rain pounding against the exhausted men as they fight tooth and nail to remain afloat on the treacherous seas. But the most affecting moment just might be the split-second in which Hemsworth makes eye contact with the whale that terrorizes them. Beneath all the violence, obsession, and desperation — a moment of genuine spiritual connection between worthy competitors. Such was the drama that made Moby Dick a classic, and maybe it could work similar magic for Howard’s newest next month.

In the Heart of the Sea opens in theaters on December 11.