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Paul Greengrass Mulling Hostage Drama 'Maersk Alabama' With Tom Hanks & Formula One Movie

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 2, 2011 2:59 AM
1 Comment
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Also Apparently Has A Mystery Project In The Works



It's been a year since "Green Zone" and a bit longer since the whole "Bourne" fiasco that has resulted in both Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon temporarily leaving the franchise while it reboots/spinoffs with Tony Gilroy's "The Bourne Legacy." Since then, Greengrass has flirted with a number of projects, saw two fall apart -- his Jimi Hendrix biopic which was turned down by the musician's estate and "Memphis" which didn't have the approval of Martin Luther King Jr.'s family -- but it looks like a couple more options are crossing the filmmaker's desk.

Vulture reports that Greengrass is in talks to direct "Maersk Alabama" (awful title) which is more familiarly known as "A Captain’s Story" which Tom Hanks attached himself to star in earlier this year. As you might recall, Captain Richard Phillips made worldwide headlines back in 2009 when he gave himself up to Somali pirates in exchange for the safety of his crew after his boat was attacked. Three days later, Navy SEALs stormed the lifeboat Phillips was being held hostage in and emerged with the captain, leaving three of the pirates dead. It’s a compelling story and the wheels were put in motion for the film once Hanks gave a thumbs up to the script by Billy Ray (”Shattered Glass,” “Breach”). Sounds like a promising project but with Hanks filming The Wachowskis' "Cloud Atlas" this fall (not in the summer as Vulture reports), this one could still be a way off so there are a couple more possibilities.

The site also reports that he's eyeing "Rush," a Peter Morgan-penned script about Formula One champion Niki Lauda. The film will center on Lauda's rivalry with English racer James Hunt (who is also the subject of a developing biopic with Alex Pettyfer). In 1976, Lauda nearly died when his Ferrari swerved off the track in only the second lap of the German Grand Prix and crashed, causing him to lapse into a coma and lose his right ear -- Hunt won the race. Six weeks later, Lauda was back behind the wheel chasing Hunt at the Italian Grand Prix and followed him to the Canadian and U.S. Grand Prix as well. Hunt would finally earn enough points during 1976 to take the World Driver’s Championship title away from Lauda.

And if all that isn't enough, Vulture claims there is a third, mystery project that Greengrass is working on as well. Okay, can we slow down a bit for a second?

If anything, Greengrass is notorious for slowly and carefully picking his projects and it's no surprise that he's already got a handful of options on his plate. Let's recap, shall we? Last year he was attached to "Treasure Island" (which he left "Fantastic Voyage" to direct) and was in contention for "Gangster Squad." His name has been tossed around for "Cleopatra" (even though Angelina Jolie wants David Fincher), a Julian Assange/WikiLeaks movie and more recently the Travis McGee franchise which has Leonardo DiCaprio tentatively attached to star.

Basically, it's anybody's guess what the director will do next but these two projects are certainly some high profile gigs that will allow the filmmaker to head out in some directions. But for now, we'll just have to wait and see what develops.

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1 Comment

  • Glass | June 2, 2011 9:22 AMReply

    I still miss the days when he was attached to Memphis.

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