CATEGORIES Movie NewsAdd another Navy SEAL film to the growing slate of post–Bin Laden films, this one "unapologetically patriotic," with Peter Berg set to direct and his 'Battleship' star Taylor Kitsch mentioned to star.
Fresh from wrapping 'Battleship,' Berg will bring 'Lone Survivor,' an adaptation of the book by Marcus Luttrell, to the big screen.
Berg actually wanted to tackle the film two years ago, but Universal wanted him to do 'Battleship' first, as Mideast-set movies like 'Green Zone' and his own 'The Kingdom' haven't done well at box office. Now, of course, anything related to bin Laden or Navy SEALs couldn't be hotter.
The actor-turned-director wrote 'Lone Survivor' after embedding with a SEAL team for a month in Iraq. The film will focus on the harrowing story of how Navy SEAL team members fought to stay alive after being ambushed in Afghanistan in 2005 by Taliban forces during a covert mission to kill a terrorist leader.
"Bin Laden's death has cleared the way for this, a movie that will be an unapologetically patriotic film that honors and pays homage to an incredible group of badass guys who do this," Berg told Deadline. He compared it to 'Black Hawk Down,' but explained it will focus mainly on a four-man team.
"The mission was similar to the assassination mission that got bin Laden, but things got complicated when they ran into three kids and an old man," he said. The team decided to let the non-combatants go, "even though they knew these people would likely talk."
The SEALs had to abort the mission after finding themselves under fire from about 250 al-Qaida soldiers. The lone survivor was Luttrell, who went on to pen a first-person account of the ordeal. The team's leader, Mike Murphy, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
As for 'Battleship,' which, yes, actually is based on the classic board game, Berg said, "I am very happy with the film." He acknowledged the criticism from James Cameron, who cited the film as an example of Hollywood's "story crisis."
"I understand the skepticism, but I think people will be surprised when Universal releases a trailer this summer," Berg added. "That should calm some of the fretting over the casting of the pegs. Universal has been really supportive through the whole process."
'Battleship' is set for a May 2012 release. Berg is expected to begin filming of 'Lone Survivor' this January.