National Geographic has acquired international rights to a documentary about the fate and discovery of the U.S.S. Indianapolis from U.K. independent Drive, the production-funding and distribution agency announced Friday. The hour-long special “U.S.S. Indianapolis: The Final Chapter” was bought for broadcast via National Geographic’s channels worldwide, excluding the U.S. and Canada.
The documentary, which aired on PBS in the U.S. in January, tells the story of the ship’s sinking in the final days of the Second World War, and charts the high-profile expedition to locate the wreck, discovered three-and-a-half miles below the Philippine Sea.
The ship’s sinking resulted in the largest loss of life in U.S. Naval history while the survival story of the 316 sailors left drifting in the ocean became legendary. The story featured in a pivotal scene in Steven Spielberg’s classic 1975 blockbuster “Jaws” in which Robert Shaw’s Quint recounts how he survived the incident.
Produced by Vulcan Productions and Lone Wolf Media for PBS, the documentary features first-hand accounts from remaining survivors alongside never-before-seen archival footage, testimony from historians, and footage from the wreck.
“This is a beautifully crafted and wonderfully detailed scientific detective story that gives a deep insight into the discovery of one of the world’s most famous warships,” said Drive co-managing director Ben Barrett. “National Geographic is a perfect partner for this project.”