There are a ton of great movies coming to Netflix in May, and one of them just happens to be Steven Seagal's best movie ever. The streaming service just dropped Under Siege, an action thriller that stars Seagal as a former Navy SEAL who has to stop a team of mercenaries who've taken over a U.S. Navy battleship. The film co-stars Tommy Lee Jones as ex-CIA operative William Strannix, the leader of the terrorist group.
In Under Siege, Seagal plays Chief Petty Officer Casey Ryback, an ex-navy SEAL who now works on the USS Missouri as the captain's personal cook. When Strannix and his team — which includes Gary Busey as Commander Peter Krill, a corrupt executive officer on the battleship who in Strannix's inside man — begin their siege, it's up to Ryback to stop them and regain control of the ship. The task proves extra challenging, as his only help comes from Playboy Playmate Jordan Tate, who had boarded the ship to entertain the sailors. Notably, Tate is played by former real-life Playboy model Erika Eleniak, who went on to star in a number of other high-profile '90s films.
Under Siege was released in 1992 and was written by J. F. Lawton, who also wrote Pretty Woman. It was directed by Andrew Davis, who had previously worked with Seagal on 1988's Above the Law. In a past interview, Lawton was quoted as saying of the film, "We are trying to make him [Seagal] more mainstream...getting him out of the pure action genre and into an acting role."
He added, "I'm trying to bring the budget within a reasonable range. The original script was almost irresponsible, with things like battleships getting blown up... The way it was, Dreadnought would have cost $100 million-plus to make. Now we're looking at the $30 million range... It was Steven's idea to fit the Pearl Harbor Memorial into the film, because all these incredible ships would be there – a spectacular sight."
Under Siege was an incredible success, earning critical acclaim and bringing in more than $150 million on a budget of $35 million. It spawned a sequel, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, released in 1995. That film was not as well-received as its predecessor but still earned over $100 million at the box office against a budget of $60 million. Years later, Seagal announced that there was a script for Under Siege 3, though it has yet to manifest into a fully realized film.