Captain Phillips To Start Shooting

Barry Ackroyd on Paul Greengrass' drama

With Bourne, United 93 and Green Zone in his locker, Paul Greengrass is a filmmaker who's as comfortable as anyone navigating the political complexities of the post-9/11 landscape. He's extending that to 'seascape' too, with his new thriller, Captain Phillips, set almost entirely in the Indian Ocean.

After a few false starts, cameras are finally poised to start rolling on the director's dramatisation of the 2008 Maersk Alabama hijacking. The movie stars Tom Hanks as the ship's American skipper, Capt. Richard Phillips, and revolves around his, and his crew's terrifying encounter with a bunch of gun-toting Somali pirates. Not even the yo-ho-ho'ing kind of pirates. The nasty ones.

The project reunites Greengrass with his Green Zone and United 93 cinematographer Barry Ackroyd, whose handheld camerawork should make the claustrophobic ship interiors a nightmarish rabbit warren. The DoP told Empire that the latter movie will offer the closest point of reference to their new movie: "The basis of Captain Phillips is United 93. We don’t want the story to be as hectic as that film, but it is just as confined and serious and dark."

Captain Phillips hunkers down in the watertanks at Malta's Mediterranean Film Studios in the next few weeks, before heading to Morocco for its beach scenes. More on the production as we get it.