Barkhad Abdi attends the 'Captain Phillips' Photo Call at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on September 30, 2013 in Beverly Hills

Barkhad Abdi attends the ‘Captain Phillips’ Photo Call at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on September 30, 2013 in Beverly Hills

*Sony announced today that it will re-release its Tom Hanks film “Captain Phillips” on Wednesday, Jan. 15 — which happens to be the day before Academy Award nominations are announced in Beverly Hills.

The film’s DVD/Blu-ray release will follow on Jan. 21, but the studio hopes its theater boost six days prior will put the film fresh in the’ minds of Oscar voters before final ballots are due Feb. 25.  And despite a strong performance from Hanks, who plays the captain of a ship seized by Somali pirates, most of the Oscar buzz from this film has surrounded the head pirate – played by Barkhad Abdi.

Barkhad Abdi (L) in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips"

Barkhad Abdi (L) as Abduwali Muse in Columbia Pictures’ “Captain Phillips”

The 28-year-old from Mogadishu, Somalia was literally plucked out of obscurity in his adopted home of Minneapolis after auditioning to play Abduwali Muse, the young Somali pirate forced into a mission way beyond his ability in this true story.

Director Paul Greengrass said it was a huge gamble to cast Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali and Barkhad Abdirahman as the main pirates. Although nary one of them had previous screen experience, the four were chosen from a Minneapolis casting call of about 700 hopefuls.

“Obviously when you’re making the film, you’re making a strong bet on the ability of four young men to who have not acted professionally before, but I believed in them and I believed in what authenticity they could bring to our film as young Somalis with a knowledge of the country and the people.”

Below, Barkhad says he relied on his big time co-star to show him the ropes on set.

According to, Sony hopes to rerelease the film in 1,000 theaters nationwide. It’s currently winding down its initial run in just 640 locations since opening on Oct. 11.

Watch the trailer below.