The generic title may not sound like much, but don't count out Captain Phillips, for reasons that are plainly obvious in this first trailer (which premiered at The Guardian). It's got Tom Hanks in fine heroic form. It's got Paul Greengrass back to directing an original story, and the kind of real-life historical event that might seem tough to adapt. Last time that happened, he got an Oscar nomination for United 93.
It's been a few years since it happened, but the story of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship remains remarkable. Taken over by Somali pirates in April of 2009, the Maersk became the first American cargo vessel seized by pirates in over 200 years, and was the focus of fascination over the course of the four-day ordeal. The titular Captain Phillips became famous after agreeing to be taken hostage by the pirates in exchange for the safety his men, and his attempts to escape only added to the drama. Barely a month after the ordeal ended Columbia Pictures acquired Phillips's life rights, and about two years ago Hanks signed on to star-- pretty much the only way you could make the guy seem just as heroic onscreen as he was in real life.
You'd better believe Captain Phillips is set for a release timed for the Oscars-- it's coming to theaters on October 11. It's been more than two decades since Tom Hanks won an Oscar-- could he be due for another this year?