“USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage” is Finished, But Release Pushed Back

12239653_901812539904178_8176355654007819249_nNews 5 has learned the Mobile-shot film “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage” starring Nicolas Cage is finished, but the planned May 27 release is being pushed back in the hope of something bigger for the movie.

Studio representatives with Hannibal Classics tell News 5 the first viewing of the World War II epic will be at the 2016 Marché du Film at the Cannes Film Festival in France next month.

“It’s epic,” said studio publicist Elizabeth Wolfe. “But most of all, it pays tribute to the men of the USS Indianapolis. We think they’ll be very proud of this movie.”

Hannibal Classics is hoping the film generates enough buzz at Cannes to be picked up by a distributor for a theatrical release. Otherwise, the movie is likely destined for an on-demand release through popular services like Netflix, Redbox, or DirecTV On-Demand.

Wolfe says Hannibal Classics is very pleased with the finished movie, helmed by director Mario van Peebles.

“It’s totally different than other World War II movies,” said Wolfe.

Whether “Men of Courage” makes it to the big screen or not, News 5 is told the studio is hopeful for a July or August release of the movie.  The movie’s official premiere, Wolfe said, is planned for a venue in Mobile sometime this summer.

Curiously absent is the presence of a trailer, which is normally released months in advance of a movie’s release.  News 5 was told by Hannibal Classics back in October that a trailer would be released by the end of 2015, though that never happened.

As we reported in October, Hannibal Classics released a snippet of promotional footage for the film that was leaked online. However at the request of Hannibal Classics, WKRG removed the footage from WKRG.com.

12189173_897912380294194_3611168043309241281_nWolfe says to expect a trailer in May or June, shortly after the film’s viewing at Cannes.

“USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage” tells the story of the World War II Navy cruiser that was sunk by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine shortly after delivering the first parts of what would become the atomic bomb. Hundreds of sailors were stranded at sea for four days, many of them dying to dehydration or shark attacks.

The movie’s production sets in Mobile and Baldwin counties were the biggest for a locally-shot motion picture in decades. More than a thousand extras were called in for the movie, most of them coming from the Gulf Coast.

The USS Alabama at Battleship Memorial Park was used at a stand-in for the USS Indianapolis.  The ship was among the biggest reasons the studio decided to shoot in Mobile, Alabama.

12291871_905719999513432_9088093574745935252_oSimilarly, the USS Drum, a submarine, was used to depict the Japanese submarine that torpedoed the Indianapolis.

In Baldwin County, scenes showing the stranded sailors were shot in open water off our local beaches. You might remember a vintage PBY Catalina being used for those scenes began taking on water and had to be beached. It became a casualty as salvage efforts failed and the plane broke apart.

Local movie buffs on the Gulf Coast remain hopeful “Men of Courage” will break the streak of locally-shot films failing to reach theaters, instead of heading straight for on-demand/streaming release.


  • “Heist” (formerly known as Bus 657), starring Robert DeNiro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, Morris Chestnut and Dave Bautista, Directed by Scott Mann
  • “Extraction”. starring Kellan Lutz, Bruce Willis and Gina Carano, Directed by Steven C. Miller
  • “Vice”, starring Thomas Jane and Bruce Willis, Directed by Brian A. Miller
  • “Rage” (formerly known as Tokarev), starring Nicolas Cage and Danny Glover, Directed by Paco Cabezas
  • “The Prince”, starring Bruce Willis, John Cusack, and Jason Patric, Directed by Brian A. Miller

“Mississippi Grind,” a Mobile-shot gambling movie starring Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn and Sienna Miller, saw a limited theatrical release in conjunction with being featured on DirecTV On-Demand. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie was released in 46 theaters, making $130,541.






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