Production kicks off in June…

It has been announced, via Variety, that Nicolas Cage (‘The Frozen Ground,’ ‘The Croods’) will take the lead in ‘USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage,’ with Mario Van Peebles (‘New Jack City’) behind the camera directing from a script by Cam Cannon.

Cage will portray Captain Charles Butler McVay III, who was at the helm of the US Navy Flagship during World War II. As the war came to a close, the USS Indianapolis delivered the parts of the first atomic bombs, which would eventually end the war when they were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

However, after completion of their mission, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sunk in a matter of minutes, killing a third of the crew, and leaving the survivors stranded in the Pacific Ocean for five days battling thirst, hunger and relentless man-eating sharks. Only 317 sailors survived and McVay was court-martialed, then exonerated more than half a century later.

“This is an extremely demanding physical and emotional role and Nic has proven time and time again that he can take on such a challenge and excel,” said producer Richard Rionda Del Castro. “We are very excited to be working together again to bring to the screen a story about the power of the human spirit and its strength to survive against inconceivable odds”

The project is not to be confused with the untitled drama about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, which has Robert Downey Jr. producing and Tate Taylor directing.