‘Captain Phillips’ Writer, Producer Talk About Gripping Real Life Story Behind Movie

Captain Phillips is a true, gripping, dramatic story and the film’s script writer is talking about what it was like to bring the events to the big screen.

Speaking before the screening at the New York Film Festival (NYFF), Billy Ray spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how the real life events made it easier for him to write the script.

“As true stories go, this one laid out like a movie,” he said. “I mean, it had drama and tension and huge politics to it. It had action built into it. The beauty was I didn’t have to invent anything, we just had to make smart event choices and get out of its way.”

Ray says he met with the real Captain Phillips, portrayed in the film by veteran actor Tom Hanks, and he agreed to share his experience of being kidnapped by Somali pirates in 2009.

A dream come true for any writer trying to relate a real life story, which was not without challenges.

But, Ray found the real man’s advice “absolutely invaluable”, speaking with him often by phone or via email and even meeting with his family.

As to why Captain Phillips didn’t open at Venice, Telluride, or Toronto, the film’s producer Michael De Luca told The Hollywood Reporter it was a matter of finding the right venue for the film to premiere.

“It’s always a combination of schedule and the best platform for the movie and we just thought the New York Film Festival would be the best opening platform for the film and it worked out for us schedule-wise,” De Luca said.

The movie has received very positive reviews from critics, including that of The Hollywood Reporter. De Luca added he reads every single review.

Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks in the title role opens in theaters on October 11.