Paul Greengrass Considering MAERSK ALABAMA, RUSH, and a Untitled Project as His Next Film

     June 2, 2011


We need more Paul Greengrass in our lives.  The kinetic energy and thoughtful subtext he brings to his movies is exhilarating and satisfying and he’s been searching for a new project since Green Zone.  He’s circled a remake of Fantastic Voyage, a Cleopatra biopic, and he almost got his MLK assassination drama Memphis off the ground before Universal pulled the plug.  Now he’s searching for new projects and Vulture reports that they’re Maersk Alabama, which is an adaptation of A Captain’s Duty, the racing drama Rush, and an untitled project.

We first reported on A Captain’s Duty in March when is was announced that Tom Hanks would play Richard Phillips, the captain of the cargo ship the Maersk Alabama, who agreed to become the hostage of Somali pirates in exchange for the safety of his crew.  His memoir recounts his three days as their hostage.  Hanks is shooting Cloud Atlas for the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer this summer, and it’s possible that Kathryn Bigelow’s Triple Frontier could still go before cameras this fall if she manages to wrap up Kill Bin Laden.  No one likes waiting (except for Tom Hanks in The Terminal), so Greengrass is also considering other projects.  Hit the jump for more.

niki-lauda-01Greengrass may direct Rush, a drama about three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda (right) written by Peter Morgan (The Queen).  Lauda’s story is that he had a heated rivalry with English race driver James Hunt, and Lauda almost died after his Ferrari swerved off the track during the second lap of the 1976 German Grand Prix.  Hunt won the race.  But Lauda was determined to beat Hunt and pulled himself out of bed only six weeks later to try and beat Hunt.  Here’s what makes the story interesting: Lauda lost.  Hunt beat him at the Italian Grand Prix, the Canadian and U.S. Grand Prix, and Lauda dropped out of the Japanese Grand Prix due to heavy rain.  This isn’t about achieving victory at all costs.  This is kind of brutal and kind of great.

Vulture also reports that there’s a third movie Greengrass is also considering, but their sources won’t say what.  Could it be the adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s The Deep Blue Good-By that was mentioned by when Greengrass had to back away from Memphis?  Whatever he ends up choosing, I hope he chooses soon and that the project finally gets off the ground.

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