Paul Greengrass Starts Negotiations To Direct Tom Hanks In Somali Pirate Drama Maersk Alabama
When we first reported last week that director Paul Greengrass was considering taking on the Somali pirate drama Maersk Alabama as his next project, there were a few other options that might potentially get in the way, including his long-gestating project Memphis, about the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination. Now, though, all the dominoes seem to have been put in place. Deadline writes that Sony Pictures has officially offered Greengrass the film, and with Memphis apparently no longer presenting a scheduling conflict, Greengrass is likely to make it his first directing effort since last year's Green Zone.
With Tom Hanks set to star as Captain Richard Phillips, who was taken hostage by the Somali pirates who commandeered his shipping vessel and attempted to escape them twice, the movie has all the makings of an "America, Fuck Yeah!" bit of patriotic nonsense. But I think we know by now we can count on Greengrass to bring more to the story; the skill he showed in United 93 alone, dramatizing events everyone knew would end tragically, suggests he knows how to take what seems like a simple real-life story and add unexpected nuance. Plus, he's also the director of the second two Bourne movies--the man knows action, and is presumably already planning all the awesome things he can do with the dramatic Navy SEAL rescue that ended Phillips's ordeal.
Earlier reports suggested Sony was planning to go forward with shooting in the fall, and even if the movie doesn't turn out to be typical Oscar bait, I'd still assume a fall 2012 release for it.
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