If you love Quint’s monologue in Jaws about the USS Indianapolis but always wanted to see the whole thing dramatized, now is your chance. Well, actually you’ve had a chance since 1991, when the TV movie Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the USS Indianapolis first aired. But now you have another shot, this time with a big-budget theatrical effort starring Nicolas Cage.
The movie is titled USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, and it comes out later this month in limited release. So technically now is still not your time for another shot, except for the fact that its trailer is long enough and detailed enough that you do kind of get a full glimpse of the tragic naval disaster. The real life cruiser was torpedoed by the Japanese during World War II on July 30, 1945.
The reason the true story is told in Jaws, as you can see in the trailer is that following the ship’s sinking, the surviving men experienced a horrible shark attack. Apparently Jaws 2 co-writer Howard Sackler initially proposed doing the story of the USS Indianapolis as a prequel to Steven Spielberg’s thriller, but the idea was quickly scrapped in favor of a follow-up.
And we’re clearly going to see some of that carnage. It’s always difficult to watch real historical catastrophes played out in the form of a thrilling action movie, but both Titanic and Pearl Harbor did pretty well with similar material. We’ve seen Cage do it before, too, with World Trade Center, though that was much more of a serious drama than blockbuster.
USS Indianapolis is directed by Mario Van Peebles and also stars Tom Sizemore, Thomas Jane and Matt Lanter. Look for it in theaters on May 27, appropriately for Memorial Day weekend.