For those well acquainted with Spielberg’s JAWS, the story of the USS Indianapolis is the stuff of legend. As Quint recalls, Japanese torpedoes sank the vessel in July 1945, leaving almost 900 of the surviving crew afloat in the ocean. Whilst awaiting rescue, shark attacks picked off the men one-by-one, with dehydration and exposure threatening to kill the rest. Of the orginal 1,196 aboard only 316 survived.
According to Heat Vision Blog, the events have inspired a new Warner Bros project, with everyone’s favourite Iron Man Robert Downey Jr on board as producer. However, the film will apparently not focus on the sinking itself, but on the true story of Hunter Scott, who in 1996 – at only 11-years old – researched the incident for a school project. Scott’s investigation into the Indianapolis and its crew proved thorough enough to clear the name of the ship’s captain Charles McVay, who had been court martialed and evetually killed himself. McVay’s record was amended following Scott testifying in court. Robert Shenkkan (HBO’s THE PACIFIC) is reportedly attached to develop the screenplay of Scott’s story.
This will not be the USS Indianapolis’ maiden voyage on the big screen: aside from failed efforts to previously adapt it (including a script from JJ Abrams), the story was also made in the 1991 TV movie MISSION OF THE SHARK: THE SAGA OF THE U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS starring John-Boy Walton (otherwise known as Richard Thomas). No word yet on production or release dates. Or whether Quint will make a cameo.