Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jerry Bruckheimer Pitching Horse Soldiers: Disney Ditched It

Big shot producer Jerry Bruckheimer is out pitching a movie package for Horse Soldiers, an adaptation of the book by Doug Stanton. According to Nikki Finke,  Bruckheimer already has a script from Ted Tally, rewritten by Peter Craig and Nicolai Fuglsig is attached to direct. Finke says " Disney bought the book for Bruckheimer back in 2009. The true story revolves around 12 elite special forces soldiers and CIA operatives who secretly invaded Afghanistan after 9/11. They arrived on horses and helped Afghan fighters capture the city of Mazar-i-Sharif and topple the Taliban. The project has the same level of warfare evident in the Bruckheimer-produced Black Hawk Down, which got made by Sony and Revolution. It’s not the first Bruckheimer project that Disney jettisoned because it didn’t fit Rich Ross’s family film mandate. In June, 2010, Disney put in turnaround an adaptation of the Steven Pressfield historical novel Killing Rommel, after several drafts were written by Randall Wallace and Pressfield, best known for writing Gates of Fire and The Legend of Bagger Vance. Bruckheimer expected to continue that project, which chronicles the daring attempt by a British battalion to capture German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, at a time when his Panzer tanks were overrunning the North African desert and driving Winston Churchill crazy in WWII. Bruckheimer ultimately gave up on that one, never getting the script quite right. The rights are now available."

I think what might have scared Disney off may be due to our American sensitivity about Afghanistan, the part we've played in its past, and our role in that country's future. 
Take a look at the Amazon.com blurb and see what you think. The book was published in 2009. Now, fast approaching 2012 we are still awaiting the return of our troops. It's the basis for a deeply divided controversy, one that Disney may not want to be part of, and too soon to be looked quite so romantically.
From Amazon
Deeply researched and beautifully written, Stanton's account of America's quest to liberate an oppressed people touches the mythic. The Horse Soldiers combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople and avoid civilian casualties proved a valuable lesson for America's ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.
Horse Soldiers is a big-hearted and thrilling read, with an epic story that reaches not just across the cold mountains of Afghanistan but into the homes of small-town America, and confirms Doug Stanton as one of our country's preeminent storytellers.

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