Downey Jr. to Produce USS Indianapolis Shark-Attack Movie

A film version of the worst naval disaster in U.S. history is in the works

By Robert Moeller Published on January 27, 2015

In a world of Shark Weeks and Sharknados, a film about the men who were eaten alive by tiger sharks after their ship – the USS Indianapolis – was torpedoed in the Philippine Sea during World War II sounds like a recipe for box-office gold.

That is what Robert Downey Jr. and Warner Bros. are banking on, anyway.

From Deadline Hollywood:

Warner Bros. and Team Downey principals Robert Downey Jr andSusan Downey have enlisted Tate Taylor to direct and Mike Jones to script their untitled project on the USS Indianapolis. This is the harrowing WWII shark tale made famous by the chilling speech Robert Shaw’s Quint character delivered to shipmates Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws.

The plot does sound quite intriguing:

Set in 1996, the film tells the true story of 11-year-old Hunter Scott, who needed a project with which to compete in a National History Day Contest. He watched Jaws and came away inspired and researched how the warship got sunk by torpedoes on its return voyage from delivering the Hiroshima bomb. Because the mission was secret, the crew floated for five days, easy pickings for the giant sharks that swam the waters. The youth learned how ship captain Charles McVay was unjustly court-martialed. He set out to find the truth behind the worst U.S. Naval disaster in history. What he discovered was that the only proper designation was a hero, for McVay’s actions under horrible duress and unimaginable carnage. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the ship’s sinking.

With all due respect to the tragedy of this horrific event, and to the memory of those who perished, I cannot wait to see this movie. I am glad that someone is making it, and even happier to learn that the uber-talented Downey Jr. is directly involved behind the scenes.

In the meantime, let Robert Shaw fill you in on what swimming with sharks is really like…

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