Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 10:28 UK

Hostage captain film in pipeline

Captain Richard Phillips
The film will be produced by Spacey's Trigger Street production company

The US sea captain who was dramatically rescued from pirates earlier this year is to have a film made of his story.

Columbia Pictures has acquired the life story rights of Richard Phillips, the cargo ship captain held hostage for five days off the coast of Somalia.

Phillips was freed when US Navy snipers shot dead three of the pirates keeping him prisoner on a lifeboat.

It is not yet known who will play the courageous seaman, though the film will be co-produced by actor Kevin Spacey.

Scott Rudin, producer of the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men, is also involved in the production.

'Heroism and courage'

Columbia has also optioned the film rights to Phillips' forthcoming memoirs.

"We were drawn to this remarkable story of heroism and courage as events were unfolding off the coast of Africa," said co-president Doug Belgard.

Phillips received a hero's welcome when he returned to his hometown in Vermont after his five-day ordeal.

The 53-year-old agreed to become a hostage so his men could go free after pirates seized his ship, the Maersk Alabama, on 8 April.

Columbia said it was too early to give a potential release date for the film.

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