The film, which stars Tom Hanks as the captain of a ship captured by Somali pirates, is one of the most anticipated fall releases and is considered a major awards contender. It continues in a recent vein of high-profile NYFF opening nights, which in recent years has included David Fincher‘s “The Social Network” and Ang Lee‘s “Life of Pi."
“'Captain Phillips’ is a riveting experience,” said NYFF director of programming Kent Jones in a press release announcing the selection. “At this point in his working life, Paul Greengrass has become a master of immersive reality-based narratives set along geopolitical fault lines … I’m excited that this tough, tense, real-life thriller, capped by the remarkable performances of Tom Hanks and four brilliant first-time Somali actors … is opening the 51st edition of the festival.”
Sony will release the film on Oct. 11. Greengrass was last represented at NYFF with “Bloody Sunday” in 2002.
This year’s New York Film Festival will open on September 27 and run through October 13.