Remember when, four or five years ago, Hollywood thought we just needed to see movies about the war on terror and its negative repercussions? Stop-Loss, Lions for Lambs, Grace is Gone, Redacted, Rendition, In the Valley of Elah, (this one is, admittedly, very entertaining) The Kingdom — none of which were big hits, critically or commercially. Unlike the Bush Administration, studios learned their lesson and left this conflict alone.
But now that Iraq has (more or less) come to an end, maybe we can enter that Apocalypse Now or Platoon stage of war filmmaking — i.e., replace partisan politics with varying, brilliant depictions of war’s horrors — and there’s no better way to approach it than the viewpoint of someone on the ground. According to Deadline, Rich Middlemas, the Oscar-winning producer of Undefeated, is getting behind a feature version of veteran David Bellavia‘s memoir, House To House: An Epic Memoir of War.
There is action in this story — the main conflict happens to be a November 2004 skirmish in Fallujah — but there’s also an account of the soldier’s “conflicted relationship between duty to country and his family.” While I would appreciate (and expect) well-composed, compelling action that drives some big points home, it’s that more personal conflict I find myself personally gravitating toward. Needless to say — but something I’ll just go ahead and say, anyhow — the great reaction to Undefeated is a good boost of confidence. While no studio, director, star, or screenwriter have been mentioned in conjunction with the project, I imagine someone is taking a look in all those respective categories; I can’t wait to see who they grab here.
Have you read Bellavia’s original book? Could it be made into a film?
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