Berlin: Nicolas Cage to Star in WWII Drama ‘USS Indianapolis’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Nicolas Cage USS Indianapolis Men of
Noam Galai/WireImage

Nicolas Cage will star in Hannibal Classics’ World War II movie “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage” with shooting starting on June 10 in Mobile, Ala.

Mario Van Peebles will direct from a script by Cam Cannon. Hannibal principal Richard Rionda Del Castro will produce “Men of Courage,” scheduled to be released over the 2016 Memorial Day weekend.

Hannibal will be selling international rights at the Berlin Film Festival.

Cage, who starred in “Rage” for Hannibal, will take on the role of Capt. Charles Butler McVay, whose ship was torpedoed in the South Pacific in July 1945, after delivering parts for the first atomic bombs.

Of 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship, while the rest faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks as they waited for assistance. Only 317 sailors survived and McVay was court-martialed, then exonerated more than half a century later.

“This is an extremely demanding physical and emotional role and Nic has proven time and time again that he can take on such a challenge and excel,” Rionda del Castro said. “We are very excited to be working together again to bring to the screen a story about the power of the human spirit and its strength to survive against inconceivable odds”

Hannibal has developed the film for five years, consulting with survivors, the U.S. Navy and the U.S.  Coast Guard.

Producers plan to construct a 500,000-gallon water tank. Edge Innovations will provide animatronic sharks; Silo Inc. will handle digital effects and HydroFlex will oversee underwater photography.

Hannibal principal Patricia Eberle will exec produce with Cannon, Dylan McGinty and Timothy Patrick Cavanagh.

Van Peebles, director of “New Jack City,” worked with Cannon and Rionda del Castro on the script.

“This film is about the crewmen of the USS Indianapolis, their unsurpassed bravery, dedication to each other and distinguished service to our country,” Peebles said. “It’s an honor to tell their story.”

Warner Bros.’ is developing an untitled drama about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, with Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey producing through their Team Downey banner with Tate Taylor directing. In 2011, the studio bought life rights to Hunter Scott, whose research had helped exonerate McVay.

Cage was most recently seen in “Left Behind” and is in post-production on “Pay the Ghost.”

Cage is repped in the deal by CAA, Mike Nilon of Link Entertainment and Patrick Knapp of Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman. Hannibal is repped by Robert M. Nau, Ray Hamrick and Martin Barab.

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  1. Butch Morris says:

    My dad is a survivor of the USS Indianapolis, who just turned 90 in July. It’s amazing it’s taken 70 years to make a credible movie about this horrible event that the U.S. Navy tried to cover up for so long. Yes the delivery of the atomic bomb parts to the island of Tinian where it was assembled and dropped on Hiroshima, was at the time, top-secret. But then the U.S. Navy used this as an excuse to cover up the fact that the Indianapolis was sunk, almost in the center of the Pacific ocean, and they had no idea it had been lost. So in order to cover up their butts, in an unprecedented act of humiliation to the crew of the USS Indianapolis, they actually had the Japanese commander of the submarine who torpedoed the Indy, testify against Captain McVay, who was court-martialed for dereliction of duty. No other commander of a U. S. warship in the history of the country has ever been court-martialed for the loss of his ship during wartime activities. Even though Captain McVay was exonerated many, many, years later, the U. S. Navy’s action added insult to injury for both the captain and his crew. Certainly the trial of the captain should never have occurred, and this is a very sad incident that the Navy should be ashamed of. But it is finally nice to see, that the story of these brave men, will be told to the world, very shortly. My dad is Albert O. Morris, Jr., and he was aboard the USS Indianapolis, Seaman First Class, in July, 1945, two days after his 20th birthday. Out of a crew of 1196 men, he was one of only 317 survivors. Next to Pearl Harbor, this was the greatest Naval disaster in the history of the United States Navy.

  2. I think this is great. I am not sure of how the story goes from the beginning. But I am excited for the work my friend Shirleys son Justin Watkins will be doing helping filming some of the Nicolas Cage Film…This one in particular is what Shirley said he would be filming…He seems like a nice and bright fellow to me…kind of private…but…nice…and…so I hope that it all goes well…Cheers! AND Kudos! Heather.

  3. K says:

    My mom was only a year old when her daddy Elvin Cary Malone’s life was lost with the Sinking os the Indianapolis. Some say they know he made it to the water. Only God knows what happened.
    I’m 43 and the youngest of his 4 grandchildren he never got to see. I always wondered what we would have called him. I can’t imagine the pain these young men went through.
    I don’t know if I’ll be able to go see the movie. I have enough visions in my mind, I don’t want to see it with actors.
    If any of you have ANY photos of any of the guys on the ship, please send them to me. He might be in them. or kadieo on facebook.

  4. Erelynn Mcintire says:

    My uncle David Allen Jump was an Ensign on the USS Indianapolis. It was his 1st. ship. They left out of SF bay with a highly secret cargo. He was asleep in his bunk when the ship went down. Ironically another uncle on the other side of my family worked at the Secret City that developed the fuel system for the A-bomb.

  5. IT OP says:

    That ENDLESS, decades OFF point, ad nasuem
    ———————————————-WWII rehash w LOVE BOMBING.

    That –STILL– ‘mysteriously overlooked’
    ————————————yet unfolding,
    ——————————————-Agenda 21 avant garde,
    ——————————————————RED CHINA, global mafia and EXTERMINIST EUGENICS

    —————————————————————-65th Anniversary

    ——————————————————————————of the

    ———————————————————————————————KOREAN WAR. . .

    • Erelynn Mcintire says:

      To: IT OPs Apparently you know nothing for this tragic part of history. All of the losses of WWII were horrible for loved one, but this should not have happened as it did. You must be very young and not well versed.

  6. Kevin Garofalo says:

    I don’t have much hope for this film, as the cover photo for the magazine promoting the movie shows the USS Arizona, not the USS Indianapolis.

  7. Jem says:

    I’m still hoping Steven Spielberg will direct a movie about the Indianapolis.

  8. Woody Cabrera says:

    NOOOOOOOOOO! We have been waiting for this film for over 30 years… can’t do it with Cage and Mario! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. You have the chance to make this a classic!

  9. Renee says:

    My Uncle was killed on the USS Indianapolis. Will be nice to see the story come to life.

  10. Opinionator says:

    Well, after recently running Cage’s “Rapture” film thriller LEFT BEHIND (which was ludicrously bad on so many levels, Cage’s rote performance included), I will definitely be catching the Robert Downey Jr. version of this important story instead. A smart, well-mounted, definitive dramatization of the USS Indianapolis tale is long overdue…and Downey, who is a fine actor, will give it some class I think.

  11. John Shutt says:

    Looks like we got another Olympus has Fallen vs White House Down situtation with these two USS Indianapolis films

  12. Beth Granger says:

    My uncle Paul Knoll was on the Indianapolis when it went down. This is a very emotional story.

    • Erelynn Mcintire says:

      My mother never got over the loss of her brother. He was the youngest at 19yrs. Both his brothers were Army. The information on the Indy came as we were celebrating the end of the war. My granddad never totally recovered from Uncle David’s death. This movie could be a memorial to the families that lost family and to those that survived. Cage can be a good actor given the right part.

    • Daniel Stephens says:

      Have you ever met any of the survivors at their reunions? They may know something of your uncle.

  13. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    This is a incredible story of bravery that Hollywood refused to tell. Remember the scene in JAWS when Quint (explaining his tatoo) retells his own story about being on The U.S.S. Indianapolis.. and his terrifying ordeals? “But we delivered the Bomb! The problem was the mission was top secret.. so be careful with embellished storylines.

  14. IT OP says:

    WWII —–AGAIN?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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