In 2009, off the Horn of Africa, a real Maersk container ship, the Alabama, was hijacked by teenage Somali pirates. This event was the first successful seizure of an American ship since the early 1800s.
Four pirates, all between the ages of 17 and 19, sailing on a small but fast skiff boarded the Alabama. In the film, they are led by Captain Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Armed with guns, these pirates have nothing to lose and manage to take Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) and his crew hostage, despite Phillips' anti-piracy training. His ship's crew even practiced a safety drill the day before sailing off.
The film's director, Paul Greengrass, says, "In lots of ways, it's a tale of two captains. It's the story of a captain of a modern container ship and the captain of a small pirate boat." With The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum under his belt, Greengrass seems to be the ideal choice for taking the helm of this true-life pirate flick. Greengrass adds, "That relationship, between a captain from our world and a captain from theirs, is what drives the film."
Captain Phillips sets sail Oct. 11.
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