Columbia Pictures to adapt Capt. Richard Phillips’ life into movie

MUMBAI: Columbia Pictures has acquired the life story rights to Richard Phillips, the captain of the Maersk Alabama, whose capture by Somali pirates and subsequent dramatic rescue by the United States Navy commanded the attention of the world.

The studio, which has also optioned the rights to Phillips’ forthcoming memoirs, will develop the project as a feature film to be produced by Michael DeLuca, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, and Scott Rudin.

The film will retell the extraordinary true story of the Maersk Alabama captain, who surrendered himself to Somali pirates after his ship was hijacked on the high seas. The ensuing standoff would test the strength of Captain Phillips and his crew as well as the resolve of the Navy commanders and the new US president to bring Captain Phillips home alive.

Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad and Elizabeth Cantillon will oversee the project for the studio.

Belgrad said, “We were drawn to this remarkable story of heroism and courage as events were unfolding off the coast of Africa. As President Obama said, "Captain Phillips’s courage is a model to all Americans." He is an ordinary man who rose to the challenge of extraordinary circumstances and we are tremendously excited to bring this true story to the screen."