We’ll say this about Hollywood. They like a good idea. No, really. If an idea is good enough they’ll make sure they remake, reboot, sequel-ize, prequel-ize or spin it off into a million different variations. Original ideas aren’t dead in Hollywood necessarily, they are just run into the ground (please see every fairy tale re-imagining in development). So no surprise that a day after it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. and his wife and producing partner, Susan Downey, were producing a movie based on the true tale of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, that another competing project is in the works.
Hannibal Pictures, the fine filmmakers behind such esteemed works as the 50 Cent movies “Gun” and “Things Fall Apart” as well as the atrociously terrible “Giallo” by Dario Argento, have their own script in place and are getting ready to shop it at TIFF. But to their credit the story is differently focused. Co-written by Cam Cannon and Hannibal honcho Richard Rionda Del Castro, the film will tell the tragic tale of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, torpedoed by the Japanese in July 1945, leading to the greatest loss of life in the history of the U.S. Navy, mostly because the boat sank in shark-infested waters, with only 300 sailors surviving the ordeal. But unlike the Downeys’ film, it will exclude the later exoneration of captain Charles McVay who was courtmartialed and convicted of negligence and later cleared thanks to the efforts of an 11-year-old who became interested in the subject (that will be the angle the Downeys’ movie will take).
So our guess is that this will probably just be a shark thriller with a historical backdrop to make it more respectable. “Our film is an action-oriented homage to the brave crew of the U.S.S. Indianapolis,” Del Castro told Variety. “It is a testament to their will to survive in the face of certain death.” So yeah, that pretty much says it all.
The budget on the Hannibal Pictures film is $30 million with directors and cast currently being looked at. But really, this shouldn’t stop RDJ’s film which smells more like Oscar, while this stinks of “rental.”