Columbia hooks pirate tale

U.S. Navy rescue getting movie treatment

Weeks after his dramatic attempted escape and eventual rescue from armed Somali pirates, captain Richard Phillips’ life rights have been acquired by Columbia Pictures.

Studio, which has also optioned the film rights to Phillips’ upcoming memoir, will bring to the bigscreen the cargo ship captain’s capture by four Somali pirates and subsequent rescue by the U.S. Navy.

Michael DeLuca, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti and Scott Rudin are onboard to produce. Brunetti, a former member of the Coast Guard, was particularly instrumental in helping land the rights. He flew to the East Coast to meet with Phillips to discuss how the film would be handled.

“We were drawn to this remarkable story of heroism and courage as events were unfolding off the coast of Africa,” Col co-prexy Doug Belgrad said.

Film will retell the events that garnered headlines worldwide in April. After his ship was hijacked on the high seas, Phillips surrendered himself to the pirates in order to protect his crew. The married father of two made one unsuccessful escape attempt before an elite squad of Navy SEAL snipers shot and killed three of the four pirates — an action authorized by President Obama. A fourth pirate surrendered and is in custody.

Earlier this month, Phillips signed with CAA to help him navigate book and film offers.

Spacey and his producing partner Brunetti recently teamed with DeLuca and Rudin on an untitled Facebook project at Col.

DeLuca, Spacey and Brunetti are also repped by CAA.

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