Columbia to Make Somali Pirate Rescue Film

Studio buys life rights to captain Richard Phillips.

Last Updated: February 22, 2011 @ 9:51 AM

Studio buys life rights to captain Richard Phillips.

Columbia Pictures has acquired the life story rights to Richard Phillips, the captain of the Maersk Alabama, who was captured by Somali pirates and later rescued by the United States Navy.

The studio will develop the project as a feature film produced by Michael De Luca, Kevin Spacey, Scott Rudin and Dana Brunetti. It has also optioned the film rights to Phillips' forthcoming memoirs.

Phillips surrendered himself to Somali pirates after his ship was hijacked, leading to a standoff that required the participation of Navy commanders and President Obama to get the Captain back to the country safely.

"We were drawn to this remarkable story of heroism and courage as events were unfolding off the coast of Africa," co-president of Columbia Pictures Doug Belgrad said in a statement. 

Belgrad, co-president of Columbia Pictures, and Elizabeth Cantillon will oversee the project for the studio.