"Captain Phillips" Almost Filmed in Mobile

"Captain Phillips" Almost Filmed in Mobile

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Mobile, AL -

A lot of people are waiting to see "Captain Phillips" when it comes out tomorrow. But one person watching might be a bit melancholy.

"Everything was working out just perfectly," said Eva Golson, who recruits movie-makers to Mobile.

Golson says two years ago, location managers spent weeks in Mobile and liked what they saw for a film tentatively titled "The Good Captain."

Now being released as "Captain Phillips," the film is the story of the container ship Maersk Alabama which was hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast in 2009.

Filmmakers scouting our area were close to deal to use a Maersk sister ship that often sailed out of Mobile. Middle Bay Port – the old Navy home port – was a valued location.

"We could have shot a lot of scenes there," said Golson who claimed the tiered docks there

were perfect for shooting scenes on and around the ship. Dauphin Island would have doubled for a Somali pirate island in the Indian Ocean.

But after a deal to use the Maersk ship fell through, Mobile was scrapped.

"We did everything we could do and I didn't feel bad about it because it was nothing we could have changed," said Golson. "They really loved the area here – the producers and everybody we were working with."

The movie was eventually shot in Virginia, Malta, and Morocco.

While missing out on the shooting, Mobile will be the center of the real life courtroom drama surrounding the affair. Nine Alabama crew members have sued Mobile-based International Shipholding, claiming the company that operated the ship ignored maritime warnings and knowingly sent it in into pirate-infested waters to save time and money. The ship's owner, Maersk, is also named in the suit. Trail is scheduled to begin in Mobile County Circuit Court on December 2nd. The real life captain of the Alabama, Richard Phillips, is expected to testify.

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