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Somali Pirates Versus Tom Hanks In First Trailer For 'Captain Phillips'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
May 8, 2013 2:31 PM
8 Comments
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I've already, and repeatedly expressed my concerns with all the recently-announced "Somali pirate" movies - some are in production or will soon be; others are already out - so I won't rehash. Somali pirate stories were seemingly all the rage 3 - 4 years ago, in what I thought would likely be the beginning of a deluge of pirate movies, all fashioned after the stories the media fell in love with, but failed to properly vet.

Let's see... there was Samuel L Jackson's production company (Uppity Films) securing the life rights of Andrew Mwangura, a negotiator between pirates and the owners of vessels hijacked off the coast of Africa, with Jackson, naturally, set to play the starring role; and then there was the adaptation of author Elmore Leonard's 44th, titled Djibouti - a fictitious tale centering on the pairing of a young, white female award-winning documentary filmmaker and "a studly 6-foot-6-inch black African leading man who, at 72, has lost none of his appeal to pretty young women," as they set sail into the Indian Ocean to make a movie that presents a sympathetic view of the African pirates operating on the east coast of the continent. Morgan Freeman and Sandra Bullock were reportedly being sought to star; there's also Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm's feature film, A Hijacking, which has been on the film festival circuit, and was recently picked up by Magnolia Pictures. There's the film adaptation of Wilbur Smith’s novel Those In Peril...

And there are still others, including the many documentaries on the subject that we've covered over the years.

Here's one of the scripted Studio feature films, this one based on the life story rights of Richard Phillips - the captain of one of the ships captured by Somali pirates (the Maersk Alabama) and later rescued by the U.S. Navy, with Tom Hanks starring as Phillips, and directed by Paul Greengrass.

Sony Pictures has released a first trailer for the film, which, not surprisingly (in part because it's a studio film) looks like it tells a one-sided story, with the *villains* clearly identified, and likely not complexly portrayed.

Titled simply Captain Phillips, the film is produced by Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey and is based on the memoir A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, penned by Captain Richard Phillips himself. 

Catherine Keener and Max Martini co-star.

An October 11, 2013 release date is set.

Here's the first trailer below courtesy of Coming Soon:

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8 Comments

  • Kelea | May 10, 2013 2:37 AMReply

    No, thank you. I'm actually a little surprised at Tom for this one, oh well. And is it me or do they seem to find Africans with the "right" look when they really want to.

  • EP | May 8, 2013 11:02 PMReply

    Black Man = Boogey Man...all day long. I'll pass.

  • wordblaze | May 8, 2013 10:53 PMReply

    Okay Dan. Let's just say they are complexly portrayed. (snicker) Why can't the trailer reflect that and not the menacing, greasy-brow stares? IF there were human portrayals, they surely took a backseat to 'selling' a scary pirate flick. Poor Tom Hanks. I hope he makes it out alive...and oh, I sure hope those Somali Pirates have a good reason for taking over the ship. They'll probably explain that in the last ten minutes of the film. lololol uh not.

  • Kelea | May 10, 2013 2:39 AM

    Thank you wordblaze! I also agree with Miles. Lol @Sergio.

  • sergio | May 8, 2013 5:43 PMReply

    That Boston accent Hanks is doing is hysterical. He sounds like he's doing a bad impression of JFK

  • dan | May 8, 2013 3:23 PMReply

    We don't know just from the trailer that the Somalis won't be complexly portrayed. If you look back at Greengrass' previous work, particularly United 93, he's got a knack for humanizing all the characters involved, even the "villains", such as the hijackers in that film.

  • Miles Ellison | May 8, 2013 11:08 PM

    Actually, we do. They're Somalis. That alone shuts down any potential for complexity. Nobody will watch a movie with complex black characters in any profitable numbers. If Greengrass can pull it of, more power to him.

  • August | May 8, 2013 2:50 PMReply

    Why aren't these ships allowed to carry weapons, just in case they have to defend themselves against pirates?

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