Hannibal Classics is pleased to announce that we are partnering with Phantom Studios on a documentary about the USS Indianapolis, which will be a companion piece to our epic film USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage.
Titled Hammered by Gods, Abandoned by Men: The Last Crew of the USS Indianapolis, the documentary utilizes interviews with over 60 people, including survivors, their families, and military experts who give startling new insight into the worst US Naval disaster in history and the tragic aftermath. Richard Rionda Del Castro of Hannibal Classics co-wrote and produced the feature film, which stars Academy Award Winner Nicolas Cage, Tom Sizemore, Thomas Jane, Matt Lanter, Brian Presley, Cody Walker, Max Ryan, Johnny Wactor, Adam Scott Miller, Yutaka Takeuchi, Callard Harris, Mandela Van Peebles, Craig Tate, Joey Capone, Shamar Sanders, Patrice Cols, José Julián, Weronika Rosati, Currie Graham and Matthew Pearson. Rionda Del Castro is producing the documentary with Francis O’Toole of Phantom Studios.
Rionda Del Castro researched the story of the USS Indianapolis for several years while writing the screenplay with Hannibal’s Cam Cannon. He hired Mario Van Peebles to direct and began the lengthy casting process with producer Michael Mendelsohn of Patriot Pictures. After attaching Nicolas Cage to star, Hannibal conducted a thorough casting call for the young crew. This casting process led to the casting of Matt Lanter, who revealed to the producers after his audtion that his late granfather, Kenley Lanter, was a survivor of the tragic sinking. Lanter wore his grandfather’s dogtags during the making of the film.
After over five years of development, the film commenced principal photography in Orange Beach, Alabama in June of 2015. The production worked closely with Second Watch, the organization of survivors and their families, who helped arrange set visits for survivors and their families. These set visits led to heart-wrenching conversations with survivors, which inspired Rionda Del Castro to film the accompanying documentary.
Hannibal Classics has submitted USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage to premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and intends to unveil the documentary at Cannes as well.