Somali Pirate Tale Headed to Big Screen

LOS ANGELES: Forget Pirates of the Caribbean, me hearties. A real pirates' tale is coming to a theater near you.

Columbia Pictures has acquired the rights to Capt. Richard Phillips' life story, including his in-the-works book recounting the hijacking of his ship by Somali raiders and his rescue at sea by the U.S. Navy.

Per Variety, Kevin Spacey is teaming with Hollywood vets Scott Rudin and Michael De Luca to produce the flick along with Dana Brunetti, a former member of the Coast Guard who reportedly helped to persuade Phillips that the movie would be done respectfully.

It was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling.

When Somali pirates boarded his cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama, in open waters along the Horn of Africa in April, Phillips gave himself up to protect his crew. During the five-day standoff, the pirates and their hostage ditched the vessel for a lifeboat, which was pursued by U.S. warships.

After several days of futile negotiations and an unsuccessful escape attempt when Phillips tried to swim to freedom, Navy SEAL snipers took out the pirates.

This is the second Hollywood tie-in to Somali piracy. Immediately after Phillips' rescue, Spike TV announced a new documentary series titled Pirate Hunters: USN, focusing on the Navy's antibuccaneer efforts.