Exclusive: FOX10 tours USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage - FOX10 News | WALA

Exclusive: FOX10 tours USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage

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ORANGE BEACH, AL (WALA) - FOX10 got an exclusive movie set tour of a World War II era film in Orange Beach. USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage stars Nicolas Cage and tells an incredible true story of survival.

Our tour started at the Outcast Charter Docks and continued with a three-mile run around Orange Beach.

It wasn't too long before we arrived at the film's floating Hollywood.

A press release describes the film as: "an action-packed and inspiring true story of Indianapolis crewmen. The Japanese sank the heavy cruiser in the waning days of WWII after secretly delivering one of two atomic bombs that would eventually end the war. Their mission was so classified it was not reported missing, since no one knew they had been attacked until four days later. Of the 1196 crewmen, nearly 300 went down with the ship. The remaining survivors were stranded in the shark-infested waters of the Philippine Sea. The crew of the USS Indianapolis endured hunger, thirst, heat and relentless shark attacks. Five days later only 317 men survived and eventually were rescued."

For some, this movie brings back memories.

"I've grown up around this story. My father talked about it a lot in the 50's and 60's, back when not a lot of people knew about the story," said Joe Lanter, co-chair of the USS Indianapolis Second Watch Organization.

Lanter is one three generations involved in this story. His father was one of the survivors and his son Matt plays Bama, one of the leading roles in the film.

"My grandpa having been on the ship, it's pretty incredible for me as an actor to be a part of the story but also personally for our family and its amazing to have my dad here," said Matt.

Lanter says the scenes being filmed are true to the stories his father told him.

We weren't allowed to shoot any of the acting on our cameras, but we did get a sneak preview from the director.

"So the character you're gonna see later is the character Sanchez and his comfort go-to is music," said director Mario Van Peebles. "So when all things fall apart, he goes inside himself and he carves on the side of the raft a piano key board and slowly in his head, he starts to compose this sort of deconstructed sort of melancholy melody - almost like a requiem. And it starts to build and build, but we, the audience hear the music that's in his head."

He also mentioned a little about Nicolas Cage, but not too much.

"Then over here, you're gonna see a scene with Tom Sizemore and Nick Cage and they're in this nightmarish flashback... and I can't tell you more than that!"

The tour eventually came to an end, but seeing the set off in the distance as we made our way back to land was a reminder that the legacy of the USS Indianapolis will live on.

"God bless my father," said Joe Lanter. "I wish he was here to see this. He passed away two years ago and it would've been really something awesome."

The USS Alabama will be used to recreate the USS Indianapolis. The movie is expected to be released around Memorial Day 2016.

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