Phillips was the leader of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama and gave himself up as a hostage to the pirates to save his crew. He was rescued three days later when Navy SEALs staged a raid that left three captors dead and another in custody.
Greengrass is no stranger to action movies about terrorists. He wrote, directed and produced 2006's 'United 93,' a real-time story about one of the jets hijacked on 9/11. He's also directed two of the 'Bourne' movies as well as the Iraq-based political thriller 'Green Zone.'
The script for the untitled movie, which will be released in 2013, is being handled by 'The Hunger Games' writer Billy Ray.
Hanks, who last appeared on screen in 2009's 'Angels & Demons,' will next be seen opposite Julia Roberts in the comedy 'Larry Crowne,' which opens July 1.