Paul Greengrass Fighting Pirates?

UPDATE: Looking increasingly likely

Paul Greengrass Fighting Pirates?

by James White |
Published on

UPDATE: Deadline report this morning that Greengrass has now officially been offered the Richard Phillips film by Sony, and is very likely to take it.


Paul Greengrass’ post-Green Zone directorial career has largely been filled with frustration and rumours, but after passing on Fantastic Voyage and seeing his Martin Luther King script **Memphis **shoved into limbo over rights issues, he might finally be getting close to locking in his next job. According to Vulture, he’s considering at least two projects, including working with Tom Hanks on a real-life tale of pirates and Navy SEALs.

Yes, Sony is looking to hook the director to take on the story of Captain Richard Phillips, who was taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, only to be rescued by US Naval forces. Phillips went on to co-write a book about his experiences,** **A Captain’s Duty, with Hanks attached to star in the film adaptation this past March.

The film now has a title – Maersk Alabama, after Phillips’ ship – and has been scouting around for a director. And who better than someone who has tackled real-life drama with such style and intelligence as Greengrass? If he does decided to weigh anchor with the movie, he’ll likely shoot later this year, since Hanks is already committed to star in the Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas.

But the modern-day tale of pirates is just one possibility on Greengrass’ plate. He’s also intrigued by Rush, based on Formula One champ Niki Lauda’s near-fatal motoring season in 1976, which saw him crash off the track in the second lap of the German Grand Prix and his car burst into flames around him.

Lauda escaped with his life, but not before lapsing into a coma and losing his right ear. Peter Morgan (another name skilled at bringing true-life stories to the screen) has been hard at work on the script for Working Title, which will also focus on Lauda’s bitter rivalry with James Hunt. Formula One has become something of a trend recently, what with Senna in cinemas this week and Alex Pettyfer flirting with a biopic of Hunt himself.

Oh, and Greengrass might also be interested in one other project, but that's staying strictly under the radar for now. However it turns out, we just want the man back behind the camera…

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