Columbia Pictures has offered Paul Greengrass the director's chair in its upcoming movie about the hijacking by Somali pirates of the Maersk Alabama in 2009, TheWrap has confirmed.
The pirates ultimately took Cpt. Richard Phillips hostage in a lifeboat and threatened to kill him. U.S. Navy SEALs rescued the American captain
Tom Hanks is playing Phillips.
Billy Ray wrote the script and the movie is being produced by Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin and Kevin Spacey.
The movie is based on Phillips' book "Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea."
Greengrass knows action movies, having directed two "Bourne" movies. More important, he wrote, directed and produced another hijacking movie — the 2006 "United 93," a real-time story about one of the airplanes hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Passengers on that airplane fought off terrorists. The plane crash-landed in a field near Shanksville, Penn.
Columbia expects to release the still-untitled pirate movie in 2013.