Paul Greengrass/Tom Hanks Somali Pirate Movie Gets A Release Date

By David Wharton 2011-12-09 11:12:15discussion comments
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By the time Captain Richard Phillips was rescued from Somali pirates by Navy SEALs back in 2009, several things were clear. 1) Navy SEALs are badass, 2) Captain Phillips was going to show up on every single talk show in America, and 3) they were totally going to make a movie about it. Sure enough, Columbia Pictures grabbed the movie rights the very next month. Since then, the project has signed on Tom Hanks to play the lead role of Phillips and Paul Greengrass to direct. It's taken a while, but now the project -- officially titled Captain Phillips -- has nailed down a release date. The Playlist reports that Captain Phillips will make port in theaters on March 22nd, 2013.

In case you've forgotten the details, Captain Richard Phillips and the crew of the Maersk Alabama were attacked by four Somali pirates intent on hijacking the vessel on April 8th, 2009. The crew fought back with flares and even the ship's rudder, but the pirates made it aboard anyway. The crew had smartly rerouted control of the ship away from the bridge and powered everything down, so the pirates couldn't control the ship, but they did capture Captain Phillips and several crew members. Chief Engineer Perry managed to capture the pirate leader and they attempted to exchange him for Phillips, but the pirates -- surprise, surprise -- reneged on their deal and fled on one of the Alabama's lifeboats, with Phillips still in captivity. The American destroyer USS Bainbridge was dispatched to deal with the hostage situation, and the standoff continued for days, despite Phillips attempting to escape his captors. Phillips was finally rescued on April 12th, 2009, when three Navy SEAL snipers killed the remaining three pirates with three simultaneous shots, thus proving their badassery in a way that would not be surmounted until their appointment with Osama Bin Laden earlier this year.

In other words, it's got all the makings of an awesome movie. There's no question Hanks will excel in the role, and United 93 should remove any doubts as to whether Greengrass is the right person to tell a story like this one. If you want the patriotic puff piece, you call Michael Bay. If you want the story honestly and effectively told, you call Paul Greengrass.
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