Tom Hanks has attached himself to a new project that would seem to guarantee him his first Oscar nomination since 2001’s Cast Away. Actually, he’ll kind of get cast away this time too: Hanks will star in the upcoming film adaptation of Captain Richard Phillips’ memoir A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea. Phillips made headlines in 2009 after his ship, the MV Maersk Alabama, was attacked by Somali pirates and became the first American ship to be successfully hijacked by pirates since the early 19th century. Phillips volunteered to be the pirates hostage to save the rest of the crew and spent three days alone with his captors on a lifeboat before a daring Navy SEAL rescue saved his life. Deadline had the story.
Curiously enough no director seems to have been attached to the project, although with Hanks on board it’s hard to imagine them not lining up like nannies outside the Banks household. One almost expects Steven Spielberg to blow them all away with a mighty gust of wind, or at least directorial clout, but either way with the two-time Academy Award-winner attached it’s hard to imagine A Captain’s Duty not getting fast tracked faster than Santa Anita Park on rocket skates. And boy oh boy, is this a news item full of strained analogies.
Hanks apparently joined the project, under Social Network producers Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey, after reading what we can only imagine was one hell of a draft by Billy Ray, the writer/director of such excellent films as Shattered Glass and Breach. We’d like to see Ray get his chance to helm his own script, since he’s a very talented filmmaker who could use a proper shot at the big time, but with Saving Private Ryan himself as the star it would make sense for the producers to seek more top flight talent to direct.
Crave Online will return with more A Captain’s Duty news as it catches us (if it can).