In real life, one of the men from Richard Phillips' crew sued him after the incident. He claimed that Phillips was well aware of the danger in the Somali waters but went in anyway endangering all of them because he wanted to get the shipment to harbour faster, even though the shipping company itself sent him a note advising him to avoid the Somali seas.
The line "Look at me! I'm the captain now", was an ad-lib by Barkhad Abdi.
「Look at me! I'm the captain now」というセリフはばーかっど・あぶでぃのアドリブ
Acting debut for all four of the main Somali Pirates.
None of the US Navy crew members of DDG 103, USS Truxtun, including Corpsman Danielle Albert, earned additional/industry-standard pay for their roles. They were considered "on duty" and received only their regular US Navy pay.
Barkhad Abdi only earned $65,000 for his role and after it was complete he went to work at his brother's mobile phone store in Minneapolis.
When Chris Mulkey's character starts talking about him being in the Union and not being paid to deal with pirates, only Tom Hanks knew that Mulkey was going to start saying those things. The reactions of the rest of the cast was completely real and natural.
The hijacking of the Maersk Alabama and hostage-taking of Captain Richard Phillips were also central to the Elmore Leonard novel "Djibouti" (2010).
This is Corey Johnson's third film collaboration with Paul Greengrass. They previously worked together on United 93 (2006) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
In real life, Richard Phillips never offered the pirates to take or shoot him instead of his crew. He was held in the lifeboat for five days and was psychologically tortured by the pirates who even conducted mock executions with him as the victim. He never got any pen or paper during his captivity in the lifeboat and never tried to write a farewell note to his family. He didn't ask to go outside to urinate before attempting his escape. He saw from his seat one of the pirates urinating outside and used that opportunity to jump the lifeboat. His reaction of absolute shock after being rescued by the SEAL team never happened in real life. He was hit by what happened only after he tried to go to sleep for the first time after being rescued.
The word "Irish" is used 36 times in the movie.