“In my day, we watched war movies in 2-D. We didn’t even have rocket-propelled grenades flying over our heads!”
This is what you’ll be telling the kids in the near future, once Thunder Run has taken the traditional war movie and turned it on its head. EW has confirmed that Gerard Butler, Matthew McConaughey, and Sam Worthington have all signed on to star in an entirely CG, 3-D adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner David Zucchino’s novel Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. Robert Port and Black Hawk Down scribe Ken Nolan co-wrote the script, with Simon West attached to direct.
“The idea is that we’re trying to create an event movie,” producer Brian Presley of Freedom Films tells EW. “We wanted to do something that was new, that was fresh, so we’re shooting it in a CG world where we do motion capture and facial capture. The reason we wanted to do it this way — just a pure, straight action film — is to also appeal to that Call of Duty: Black Ops world. It’s not going to have a video game look, it will have a photorealistic look, but the style in which we’re doing it with the 3-D RPGs flying over your head, and tanks coming out across the audience, and explosions… it’s going to be incredible.”
The film will recreate the three-day capture of Baghdad by American forces that jump-started the Iraq War in 2003. This has been an ongoing passion project for West and Presley, who have been working on the concept for five years. “One thing we’re really focused on is making sure we keep all of the authenticity of the military aspect; really being true to the story and to what actually happened, and representing the military in the right way,” Presley said.
To create the perfect look, The Graphic Film Company will use the proprietary facial-capture technology they developed for West’s upcoming Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3-D, as well as the motion-capture techniques used in Avatar. But the real appeal, according to Presley, lies in the heroic battle the actors will be recreating.
“You’ll be able to see Butler, McConaughey, and Worthington for two hours in a tank battle,” he said. “What you see is what you get.”