Captain Phillips Movie Controversy, Ruthless pirates try to hijack an unarmed American ship. They seize the captain and, after negotiations fail, Navy SEALs stage a daring rescue. It reads like the plot of a Hollywood movie.
And now it is one. The real-life events that surrounded the 2009 attempted seizure of the Maersk Alabama inspired the film “Captain Phillips,” which will be released on Friday.
When asked about taking on the leading role in the film, Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks said his main focus was accurately portraying Capt. Richard Phillips’ story.
“I don’t want to ruin his life by, you know, turning his motivations into something they weren’t,” Hanks said earlier this month. That can be difficult, Hanks said, because of “the fakery that goes on” in creating a cohesive screenplay based on real-life events.
“When we met, I told Rich, I said, ‘Hey, look, I’m going to say things you never said and I’m going to be places you never were, but what I’m going for is … authenticity.’ ”
Phillips’ crew members say he is not the hero the film will likely present him as. (“If you want to shoot someone, shoot me!” Tom Hanks bravely yells at one of the armed Somali pirates, in the movie’s trailer.)
In reality, Phillips ignored numerous warnings to stay farther off the coast of Somalia, the site of dozens of hijackings, which hit their peak in 2008 and gained international attention. Many of the Alabama’s crew members are suing the shipping company, the Danish shipping line Maersk, in part because they say Phillips deliberately sailed the ship into harm’s way to shorten the trip to Mombasa, Kenya, and save money.