The Tom Hanks film Captain Phillips is facing some controversy, despite its strong opening weekend returns.
Eleven crew members from the Maersk Alabama — the ship that was taken by Somali pirates — all state that the film account of their ordeal was a Hollywood version of events and not what really happened.
The New York Post reports that the crew members filed suit against Maersk and the Waterman Steamship Corporation — for “willful, wanton and conscious disregard for their safety”, and they say their lives were endangered by the real Captain Richard Phillips prior to the April 2009 hijacking.
They allege Phillips ignored pleas to sail away from the Somali coast, which by that point had seen 16 pirate attacks and eight hostage situations prior to their hijacking.
Some crew did not speak with Sony (SNE) for the making of the movie; the ones who did were paid $5,000 for their life rights and had to sign a confidentiality agreement — one that several broke talking to the press.
“Phillips wasn’t the big leader like he is in the movie,” one crew member told The Post anonymously. He worked very closely with Phillips on the Maersk Alabama and was alarmed by his behavior from the beginning. Phillips, he says, had a bad reputation for at least 12 years prior, known as a sullen and self-righteous captain.