Deadline just announced that Paul Greengrass, the critically acclaimed director of United 93, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum, has officially been offered the reigns to the highly topical Richard Phillips story. In 2009, Phillips was captured by Somali Pirates and was held for three days in a small lifeboat before NAVY seals could conduct a successful, yet violent rescue that fortunately left Phillips unharmed. As Captain of the pirated vessel Maersk Alabama, he surrendered himself to spare his the lives of his crew. The script was adapted by scribe Billy Ray from Phillips’ book entitled “A Captain’s Story: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea” and Tom Hanks is set to play Phillips.
We reported last week that the project was nearing a boiling point, but it gained considerable traction today with this offer. Greengrass and Sony Pictures are currently in talks, so details will likely surface throughout the week. The film is set to be his next project since Universal has decided to push Greengrass’s other project, Memphis, to (at the earliest) next year, so that essentially leaves his slate clean for the time being
Memphis, Greengrass’ MLK assasination project, is still on his directorial slate. The project hit a wall when MLK’s family read an early draft of the script. Though I personally found the screenplay to be excellent, the family felt otherwise. Hopefully things will get worked out with that one since I think it would make for a fantastic film in the hands of Greengrass.