Tom Hanks is no stranger to the high seas, having starred in the epic Cast Away. Now he’s been signed up to play Captain Richard Phillips in the biopic Captain Phillips. Phillips became a hero after his cargo freighter, the Maersk Alabama, was boarded by Somali pirates in 2009. He agreed to be a hostage to get the pirates off his ships and his story became international news.
Due out later this year, Captain Phillips is bound to be tense and gritty if director Paul Greengrass’ previous films are anything to go by. In the meantime, if you fancy a bit of pirate action, check out one of these pirate features films.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
Known as The Pirates! Band of Misfits in North America, New Zealand and Australia, The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists is based on the first Pirates! Book by Gideon Defoe. Made by Aardman Animations, who were responsible for the Wallace and Gromit films, it is the first 3D movie from the company.
The film tells the story of the Pirate Captain in his bid to win the Pirate of the Year award to prove once and for all that he’s a real pirate after years of being the laughing stock of the pirate community. Since the prize relies on who can produce the most pirate booty, when he discovers that there’s a chance he could win a prestigious science award, he decides to cheat to win the contest. Whilst you’d think that such nefarious behaviour would be welcomed in the pirate world, his efforts don’t have the intended result.
The Pirates! generated some controversy when initial trailers were released thanks to a joke made about a leper boat. It was criticised for reinforcing misconceptions around the disease and belittling the very real suffering it causes. After calls to remove the scene, Aardman responded by altering the script to replace the word ‘leper’ with the less contentious ‘plague.’
The film performed reasonably well at the box office and was nominated for a number of awards, but despite talks of a sequel, it has been announced this will no longer be happening after the film didn’t attract a high enough audience in America.