Precisely a week ago news emerged that Paul Greengrass was eyeing a couple of projects that could be his next movie and it seemed the further along the production line was Maersk Alabama, Sony’s adaptation of Captain Richard Phillips’ story of when his ship was held hostage by Somali Pirates in 2009.
The film had caught the eye of A-lister Tom Hanks back in March who would star as Phillips and it’s no surprise to hear from Deadline that Greengrass will soon enter talks to direct having been offered the job and things should be plain sailing from here.
Maersk Alabama is an adaptation of Phillips’ memoirs “A Captain’s Story: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea”, and has been scripted by writer Bill Ray (State of Play, Breach). Phillips, the leader of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, famously gave himself up to Somali pirates back in 2009 in a hostage exchange for the safety of his crew after an armed ambush where he was then kept prisoner for three days before Navy Seals found him in a thrilling rescue attempt, killing three of the Pirate captors in the process.
The harrowing and tense hostage thriller couldn’t be more perfect for Greengrass’ kinetic shaky cam style and after the bad luck he has had this year getting his personal endeavors off the ground (biopics of both Jimi Hendrix and Memphis), this is a very welcomed piece of good news.
When Maersk Alabama (please change that title to A Captain’s Story or A Captain’s Tale) films seems to be down to Hanks’ scheduling. He is locked in for the next month promoting his directorial rom-com Larry Crowne with Julia Roberts that opens July 1st and is expected to shoot his part in Cloud Atlas with The Wachowski’s from September onwards. He does seem to have a two month window where he could film this one July-September, otherwise it might be a while before it goes ahead of camera’s.
What does seem to be true is Billy Ray’s script is good to go and Greengrass is ready to helm. Meanwhile, Deadline say Rush about Formula 1 racing champion Niki Lauda and is scripted by Peter Morgan has just gone out to writers and will be competing with Memphis, Greengrass’ MLK biopic which he still hopes to make as his next film after Maersk Alabama.
This article was first posted on June 8, 2011