Mario Van Peebles and Nicolas Cage to Tell the USS Indianapolis Story

One of the greatest monologues in cinema history is delivered by Robert Shaw in JAWS, when his character Quint talks about surviving the tragic sinking of the USS Indianapolis. That real life incident was later dramatized in the 1991 TV movie MISSION OF THE SHARK: THE SAGA OF THE USS INDIANAPOLIS. Other potential Indianapolis movies have come up from time to time, but have never made it in front of the camera. Most recently, it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. would be producing an Indianapolis-related movie. A competing project has since emerged, one which is already set to start filming in Mobile, Alabama next month.

Mario Van Peebles will direct USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE for Hannibal Classics, with Nicolas Cage signed on to star as Captain Charles Butler McVay.

McVay's ship was torpedoed in the South Pacific in July 1945, after delivering parts for the first atomic bombs. Their mission was classified, so the Indianapolis was not reported missing until four days later.

Of 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship, while the rest faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning and shark attacks as they waited for assistance. Only 317 sailors survived, and McVay was court-martialed, then exonerated more than half a century later.

Joining Cage in the cast are Matt Lanter, Brian Presley, Tom Sizemore as a member of the Indianapolis crew, and Thomas Jane as the pilot who spotted the survivors in the water. Patriot Pictures is financing the film and Saban Films have acquired the North American distribution rights.

The Team Downey film is believed to be centered on McVay and the quest to get him exonerated. It's not clear whether USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE (they could work on that title, it sounds like another TV movie) will be doing the same or focusing more on the ordeal of the men stranded at sea, but I've always felt that the USS Indianapolis story could be the basis for a very intense horror thriller that might even be a worthy successor to JAWS. We'll see how this one turns out.

Extra Tidbit: What do you think of Nicolas Cage taking on this subject?
Source: Variety



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