Harrison Ford may lead charge in Falluja movie
The combat drama would be based on the upcoming book "No True Glory," an account of the battle for Falluja by Bing West, a Marine veteran and former U.S. assistant defense secretary now covering the war as a foreign correspondent, a studio spokesman said.
A Universal-based production company, Double Features, recently optioned movie rights to the book, which will be adapted by West and his son, Owen, a veteran Marine rifleman. The book is due out in May from Bantam, a unit of the Random House publishing company.
Although Ford, 62, is "attached" to the project -- Hollywood parlance for a loose commitment to star in the film if it gets made -- he is not under contract, the studio said. And Universal has only given the go-ahead for development of a screenplay. No money has been earmarked for production yet.
Ford's best known roles include the swaggering "Star Wars" space hero Han Solo and the rugged adventurer Indiana Jones in the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" series.
In "No True Glory" he would play Maj. Gen. James Mattis, the U.S. Marine commander ordered to lead an assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja, an insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, after four Americans contractors were killed and mutilated there by a mob in March 2004.
The offensive was halted the following month, and the Marines were withdrawn until U.S. forces renewed their assault on the Sunni Muslim city following the American presidential election in November.
While Ford would play a lead role in the film, the movie is envisioned as a broader look at the conflict in Falluja as a study of the connections between war and politics as seen through the eyes of the troops, their commanders and civilian leaders, Universal's spokesman said.
The Michael Moore documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11," which focused on U.S. conduct of the war in Iraq, was a major box office success, but "True Glory" would mark the first feature drama about the war.
Meanwhile, several Iraq war projects are being developed for TV, including a pilot series from "NYPD Blue" co-creator Steven Bochco titled "Over There" for the FX cable channel.
Movie dramas about U.S. military conflicts in progress have been unusual since World War II, with big studios tending to shy away from subject matter perceived as controversial until years after the fact.
Such was the case with such memorable Vietnam War movies as "The Deer Hunter," "Apocalypse Now" and "Platoon."
"The Green Berets, starring John Wayne," was released at
the height of the conflict in Indochina in 1968. Robert Altman's "MASH," which
came out two years later, was set in the Korean War but was widely seen as a
commentary on Vietnam.