‘Captain Phillips’ trailer: Somali actor Barkhad Abdi sparks supporting Oscar buzz

A new trailer for the upcoming film Captain Phillips features Tom Hanks starring as Captain Richard Phillips, and Barkhad Abdi as Muse, the Somali pirate who leads a group aboard the U.S. cargo ship.

Abdi’s compelling performance during the two-and-a-half-minute trailer puts him on par with two-time Academy Award winner Hanks, causing some to speculate that he could be a potential best supporting actor nomination in 2014.

The film is based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, about the 2009 true story of an American container ship, the Maersk Alabama, that was seized by Somali pirates off the coast of the Horn of Africa.

Abdi, as well as Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdirahman and Mahat M. Ali, who portray the Somali pirates, are all first-time Somali actors.

Directed by Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips will make its world premiere during this year’s Opening Night Gala at the 51st New York Film Festival.

Past NYFF opening night films have included future Academy Award winners, including: Pulp Fiction (1994), The Social Network (2010) and Life of Pi (2012).

Sony Pictures’ Captain Phillips is set to hit theaters October 11.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals