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Tom Hanks to play captain in Somali pirates movie

March 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The real-life story of an American ship hijacked by Somali pirates is being turned into a movie.

Tom Hanks will star as Captain Richard Phillips of the trading ship Maersk Alabama, who surrendered himself to the pirates in order to save his crew.

On April 8, 2009, four Somali pirates hijacked the ship and took the captain hostage. Phillips was held for days in one of the Alabama's lifeboats until Navy snipers killed his captors.

Columbia Pictures picked up the rights to Phillips' story in 2009.

The project is being produced by the team behind "The Social Network."