×

Greengrass offered Somali pirate pic

Tom Hanks is already attached to star in the Sony adaptation

Paul Greengrass is zeroing in on his next movie. Sony Pictures has offered him the helm of its untitled Somali pirate drama that has Tom Hanks attached to star.

Hanks agreed in March to play Capt. Richard Phillips, who sacrificed himself as a hostage to Somali pirates on the cargo ship Maersk Alabama in exchange for allowing his crew to stay onboard. Phillips spent three days alone with his armed captors in a small lifeboat before he was rescued by Navy SEALs.

Greengrass beat out several other filmmakers for the gig, for which he will soon begin negotiations. Sony has already optioned Phillips’ memoir “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea,” which was published by Hyperion last year.

Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey are on board to produce the Billy Ray-scripted pic, which will be overseen by Sony’s Elizabeth Cantillon. All four producers previously worked with the studio on “The Social Network.”

Sony would like to put the picture into production as early as this fall, after Hanks returns from Germany where he’s shooting the Wachowski siblings’ “Cloud Atlas” this summer.

Greengrass had previously been targeted “Memphis,” a Rudin-produced project about Martin Luther King Jr., as his next movie before Universal pulled the plug due to rights issues.

Before receiving Sony’s offer, Greengrass had been considering Peter Morgan’s script “Rush,” a Formula One drama set up at Working Title that follows the rivalry between race car drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Film News Roundup: Rob Schneider Wins SAG-AFTRA National Board Seat

    In today’s film news roundup, Rob Schneider wins a SAG-AFTRA board seat; “Badland,” “Sorry We Missed You” and “Extracurricular” find homes; and “The Shawshank Redemption” gets a re-release.  SAG-AFTRA Rob Schneider has won a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Schneider won a four-year term [...]

  • This photo shows actor David Oyelowo

    David Oyelowo Joins George Clooney in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight,” sources tell Variety. Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s “Suburbicon.” “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark [...]

  • Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the

    Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the Window'

    Disney is shaking up its release calendar, delaying its live action “Cruella” until Memorial Day 2021 and pushing Fox 2000 drama “The Woman in the Window” to 2020. “Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, is based on the classic “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de Vil. The revisit to Disney’s animated classic was originally set to hit theaters [...]

  • Spider-Man Could Leave the Marvel Cinematic

    Spider-Man Could Leave MCU if Disney, Sony Can't Reach Financing Deal

    Disney’s Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have hit an impasse on new financing terms for upcoming Spider-Man movies, sources have told Variety. If a deal cannot be reached, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will not produce future Spider-Man films, effectively removing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reps for Disney, Marvel and Sony [...]

  • Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality

    Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality in Film and TV

    Screen Australia, Australia’s federal film and TV funding body, has made sufficient progress in furthering gender equality that it has set more ambitious targets. The organization has exceeded its long-term Gender Matters key performance indicator, with 56% of projects receiving production funding having at least half of the key creative roles occupied by women, based [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content