When Capt. Richard Phillips of Underhill arrived home after his 2009 ordeal as the hostage of Somali pirates who had boarded his cargo ship, the nation celebrated him. Now Phillips is receiving an additional honor vouchsafed to few: He'll be portrayed on screen by Tom Hanks (right).
(Note: Since no stills from the Phillips film are available, the above photo is Hanks in Cast Away, quite a few years ago, demonstrating his fitness for portraying rugged survivors of maritime ordeals.)
The casting news has been floating around for nearly a year, but now filming of Captain Phillips, based on Phillips' memoir A Captain's Duty, is due to start on Cape Cod. Check out this article about open casting for supporting mariners in the Cape Cod Times.
The casting call drew professional seamen, one of whom protested the screenplay's inaccurate terminology ("doors" instead of "hatchways" — "There are no doors on a ship," he noted).
Catherine Keener, whom you may remember as the lady who devirginized Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, will play Phillips' wife. As for the film's director, various sources say it's Paul Greengrass, who helmed the last two Bourne films, though IMDB still describes that as just a "rumor." IMDB also says to expect the film in 2013.
Will the movie feature lots of Greengrass' trademark shaky-cam? Will the ornery sailor who critiqued the screenplay get a part? Will Hanks get another Oscar for playing the heroic Capt. Phillips? Will the actor ever defy his image and try portraying, say, a dirtbag or a supervillain? Stay tuned...