Is there any more exciting film staple than pirates? Pillaging, raping, kidnapping, cannon-firing, parrot-owning, Sicilian-beating, Keith Richards-loving, one leg missing, singing and dancing pirates!

And now we can add real-life pirates to the list thanks to those pesky Somalian rapscallions who’ve been terrorizing the coast of Africa for the past several years. Per Variety, Columbia Pictures has hired Billy Ray to write a film based on the five-day hostage drama that played out earlier this year. More specifically, the film will center on Captain Richard Phillips whose life story rights as well as the rights to his upcoming book were optioned by Columbia. Phillips was held hostage by pirates before being rescued by Navy SEALS. Spoiler alert!

Ray’s most recent work as screenwriter includes State of Play, Breach, and Flightplan. He also has a Westworld remake and the potential Ryan Reynolds vehicle Motorcade on his plate as well.

This project is easily a year or more away, so in the meantime let’s talk favorite pirate movies! Obvious choices include the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy which started strong but sank faster and faster with each subsequent installment. Some might vote for The Princess Bride, which while only half a pirate movie is still a good choice. Further down the rope ladder of quality would be Renny Harlin’s love letter divorce papers to Gina Davis, Cutthroat Island. And at the bottom of the pile would be 1982’s The Pirate Movie. Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol sing and dance their way across the high seas… I prefer the sequel where their ship crashes and Atkins secures his sword in Brooke Shields’ sheath. But I digress…

My favorite pirate movie is The Island starring Michael Caine and David Warner. Written by Peter “Jaws” Benchley, directed by Michael “Fletch” Ritchie, the movie is about modern day pirates (circa 1980) who kidnap Caine’s son and his attempt to get the boy back. Good stuff.

What’s your favorite pirate movie? And do you care about a movie based on the Somali hostage story?

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