Mario Van Peebles will get behind the camera again to direct the action-drama USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage for Hannibal Pictures.
The actor/writer/director/producer will direct from a script penned by Hannibal’s Cam Cannon and Richard Rionda Del Castro, which tells the true story of the ship in the title that was sunk in the South Pacific in July 1945, after delivering parts for the first atomic bomb. Of over 1,100 crewmen on board, roughly 300 went died immediately, while the rest faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning, and even shark attacks while they waited for assistance. In the end, a total of 317 sailors survived.
Variety says that the project, which has been in development since 2011, and which was written in collaboration with the U.S. Navy for accuracy, is being financed by Patriot Pictures, with a June 2014 shoot planned, in Mobile, Ala., home to the USS Alabama and USS Shadwell.
“Ultimately this is the tale of ordinary servicemen on opposite sides of the conflict who find themselves trapped in the extraordinary circumstances that war can thrust upon us,” said Mario Van Peebles in a statement. “It is the personal stories of these men, their heroism and sacrifice I find timeless and most compelling.”
Richard Rionda Del Castro and Michael Mendelsohn are producing. Patricia Eberle, Hayley Magouirk Arabia, Cam Cannon and Timothy Patrick Cavanaugh are exec producers.
Peebles has spent much of 2013 directing for TV – episodes of NCIS, Nashville, Zero Hour; his last feature film directorial effort was 2012’s teen musical dramedy We the Party.