Disney has acquired the rights to the bestselling book The Finest Hours. Written by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias, the book recounts the 1952 Coast Guard rescue mission to recover 84 men trapped in a deadly nor’easter blizzard. Two WWII oil tankers were ripped in half, leaving four halves of ship floating aimlessly through the storm carrying the disaster’s only survivors. The brave Coast Guard men set out on a suicide rescue mission, some on old wooden motorized lifeboats, in order to recover the lost seamen.
Deadline reports that The Fighter scribes Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson have been set to write the screenplay, with Jim Whitaker (Rebirth) and Dorothy Aufiero (The Fighter) producing. It’s definitely a great story, and as long as it’s not treated like a Movie of the Week, The Finest Hours could make for a very good film. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book.
In a 1952 nor’easter, the distress of two ships off Cape Cod initiated a dramatic Coast Guard operation recounted here by coauthors Tougias and Sherman. Both vessels were World War II surplus, cheaply built, unwisely kept in service, and broken in two by the storm. All four halves floated, for the moment, and the authors’ narrative accordingly tracks four separate search-and-rescue efforts that form the complete story. The most prominent, in the press at the time and in official honors conferred afterward, concerned one motorized lifeboat, a puny 36 feet long and manned by four men, dispatched to do battle with the maelstrom’s towering waves. This is the seascape of The Perfect Storm, and the authors do justice to the peril in a tight account of the action. Plotting the course of CG36500, the utilitarian name of the lifeboat captained by Bernie Webber (interviewed for this book), Tougias and Sherman reach their peak of tension in the sink-or-swim moments when mariners abandoned ship and chanced their lives on their rescuers’ skill and bravery. [Amazon]