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Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler, and Sam Worthington Starring for Simon West In 3D, CG War Film ‘Thunder Run’

Written by on October 28, 2011 

A movie starring Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler, and Sam Worthington should be pretty manly. Hiring Simon West, helmer of Con Air and The Expendables 2, to direct? Even manlier. Having them play combat soldiers in Iraq? The testosterone is almost getting out of control. Presenting it in 3D and through CGI? Well, —

Wait, what?

That was, in a slightly jumbled order, my basic thought process as I read TOH‘s story about Thunder Run, an adaptation of David Zucchino‘s non-fiction book Thunder Run – The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. It will indeed star those three men, be directed by West, be in 3D, and be produced using motion-capture technology. Please give this a second to stew.

Freedom Films and Graphic Film Company are producing; the latter is also doing effects work that takes an influence from films that include the Worthington-starring Avatar. Brian Presley, he of Freedom, said that the five-years-in-development project is the “first ever conventional war film made to utilize this revolutionary facial and motion capture technology and state of the art CG and 3D.”

EW also managed to learn more from the producer, who said that, plot-wise, this will “recreate the three-day capture of Baghdad by American forces that jump-started the Iraq War in 2003.” (Robert Port and Black Hawk Down scribe Ken Nolan have written the screenplay.) What you’ll really go for, though, is the intention “to create an event movie […] that was new, that was fresh.” They hope to accomplish that through the use of strong CGI and immersive 3D. The reasoning behind these methods raise an eyebrow — to “appeal to that Call of Duty: Black Ops world,” although this “will have a photorealistic look.” Meanwhile, us audience members can look forward to “3-D RPGs flying over your head, and tanks coming out across the audience, and explosions.” There’s already a ringing in my ears and an ache in my head. And yet, I can’t wait to see what the results are, whether it’s amazing or disastrous.

Here’s an extended plot synopsis, also from TOH:

Thunder Run is the untold story of the dangerous and bloody capture of Baghdad by American Forces at the onset of the Iraq War.  In April 2003, three battalions and fewer than a thousand men launched a violent thrust of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into the heart of a city of five million, igniting a three-day blitzkrieg, which military professionals often refer to as a lightning strike, or “thunder run.” In telling the story of the surprise assault on Baghdad- one of the most decisive battles in recent American combat history—this movie paints the harrowing picture of the soldiers on the front lines and the realities of modern warfare.

Does this project sound just a tad crazy to you?

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