As Wagstaff mentioned, Terence Malick could do wonders with Typee, Omoo, Mardi and "The Encantadas" – the “Melville period” they would call it…that is, if he chose to do it. At Malick’s pace, that “period” would span several decades. Still, as I add on the following suggestions, I would urge Master Malick to work faster, please.
I figure, with The New World, he’s pretty much done Emerson.
Assuming it would be too much to ask Malick to direct a picture corresponding to each of Melville’s stories, he could concentrate on two periods of Melville’s life:
Part 1) the seafaring years – essentially Typee thru White Jacket – an adventerous period of whaling, jumping ship, living with cannibals, taking part in a mutiny, working at a bowling ally in the Sandwich Islands, hopping aboard a US Navy vessel around the cape and back home. Malick could pick from it like a seasoned old lady picks from a bountiful produce market. Good stuff, and lots of it.
Part 2) the Pittsfield years – roughly the period when he met Hawthorne and reworked Moby Dick up to the Piaza Tales and short stories around it. Malick would have ample opportunity to show lush leafy Massachusetts nature through any number of his autobiographical works – such as a picturesque hike he took with Hawthorne and some other literary friends up Mount Greylock. For the winter season, Malick could choose Melville’s visit to a paper factory in the "Tartarus of Maids". Just thinking of various episodes in Melville’s work as if it were in a Malick movie, will make one smile. I'd pay $8.50 to see his adaptation of Clarel.
When he’s through with Melville, he should do The Scarlet Letter up right – to make up for the damage done by Roland Joffé, Demi Moore and Gary Oldman. In fact, any Hawthorne Malick could spare us would be most appreciated. And then there’s salts like Conrad to tackle.
But back to reality….I just want more Malick movies – wherever they come from. Perhaps he’s been sitting on another script for decades, like he did with The New World. Please, please….