The Big Picture
- Showtime has announced the release date of William Friedkin’s final film, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, a legal drama based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and play.
- The movie stars Jason Clarke as a naval lawyer defending an officer who took command of a vessel from his seemingly unstable captain. It features an impressive cast, including Kiefer Sutherland and Jake Lacy.
- The film had Guillermo del Toro as a backup director, and he joined the project to support Friedkin, who passed away before its release.
Following the recent passing of Academy Award-winning The Exorcist director William Friedkin, Showtime has officially set the release date for The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, his final film behind the camera. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and play by Herman Wouk, the feature stars Jason Clarke as a naval lawyer tasked with defending an officer in hot water after taking command of a vessel from his seemingly unstable captain. Paramount+ with Showtime will stream the film starting on October 6 while the Showtime linear network will air the film on October 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Friedkin’s legal drama is set during a naval court-martial where lawyer Barney Greenwood (Clarke) reluctantly takes on the case of Lt. Steven Maryk (Jake Lacy), a first officer of the Navy who ripped command of the U.S.S. Caine away from his captain Lt. Phillip Francis Queeg (Kiefer Sutherland). The crew staged a “mutiny” as the ship navigated treacherous waters amid a violent storm, though Greenwood starts to question whether it was a takeover or simply the acts of heroic sailors taking matters into their own hands when their captain displayed concerning behavior.
The Caine Mutiny is Friedkin’s first narrative film since 2011’s Killer Joe and boasts a stellar cast including not only the trio of Sutherland, Clarke, and Lacy, but also Monica Raymund, Lewis Pullman, Jay Duplass, Tom Riley, and Lance Reddick in one of his final roles. Work on the project had wrapped before Friedkin’s death, but the film was prepared for the worst, hiring another Academy Award-winning visionary in Guillermo del Toro as the backup director. While at the film’s premiere, producer Annabelle Dunne revealed that they weren’t able to have the late director insured due to his age and thus needed somebody the director trusted on board in the event of an emergency. Del Toro graciously agreed to join the project despite coming fresh off of Pinocchio and sat by Friedkin’s side throughout the production, though Dunne said “He made it abundantly clear it was Billy’s movie. He said he was our mascot.”
Who Else Was Aboard Friedkin’s Final Film?
Dunne co-produced the film with Matt Parker while Michael Salven and Mike Upton served as executive producers. The recently revived Republic Pictures, the banner behind many of the classic films from John Wayne and Orson Welles, is distributing the film for Paramount. Friedkin’s adaptation will join two other features based on the play including a 1954 film starring Humphrey Bogart as the unstable Queeg and a 1988 television film directed by Robert Altman with BAFTA nominee Brad Davis in the same role.
The Caine Mutiny made its debut on Sunday at the Venice Film Festival where it earned solid reviews from critics in attendance as well as an outpour of tributes to the late director. Babylon helmer Damien Chazelle gave a lengthy ode to Friedkin, remembering him as “fearless” in his work but also recounted the generosity he showed him as a young filmmaker. “I will never forget the experience of discovering that a man responsible for movies that punched me so mercilessly in the gut, like Sorcerer, French Connection, Cruising, and Killer Joe, was in person so warm, so welcoming, so sweet, humble, loving,” he said.
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial streams on Paramount+ with Showtime on October 6. Paramount+ will also play host to the film in international markets. See the first-look images above.