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.