I’ve been wondering how long it was going to take for 3D motion-capture movies to make it to the R-rated adult audience. Beowulf was the bloodiest and most violent film I remember seeing in mo-cap, but I always knew something was going to come along and possibly change the whole game. Sure, Avatar did that in a lot of ways, but I was hoping for something more, which is why Collider‘s reporting of Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey signing onto a 3D motion-capture war film directed by B-list director Simon West (Con Air) is for sure going to stir up some curiosity.
The film will be called Thunder Run, based on the novel by David Zucchino. The novel was about the 2003 capture of Baghdad and it’s said to be very descriptive in its deaths and injuries, plus Black Hawk Down scribes Robert Port and Ken Nolan will be handling the screenwriting.
Motion-capture films aren’t quick and thoughtless projects. They need lots of time in post-production and the film has been apparently already in production for five years. Combine the lengthy project time with the mo-cap budget costs and costs of the stars that signed on and you have yourself a big picture in the making. This could be the next innovative step in motion-capture technology or this could be Call of Duty on the big screen, I’d hope it’s not the latter, but studios like to play it safe!
If this does see the light of day and it is really a full-fledged 3D motion-capture R-rated war film then expect me to be the first in line for a ticket! The idea sounds really good, but it’s the delivery and handling that worries me.
Here’s the synopsis for Thunder Run:
Even a very short, victorious shooting war against a disorganized, dispirited, vastly outnumbered and underequipped enemy is hell. That is the central message that Los Angeles Times correspondent Zucchino brings home startlingly well in this riveting account of the American military’s lightning capture of Baghdad in April 2003. Zucchino (The Myth of the Welfare Queen) is an experienced, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, and he shows off his reportorial skills in this reconstruction of the “lightning armored strike” in Iraq that the military refers to as a “thunder run.” The narrative focuses on the men who commanded and battled in the tank battles as the Americans fought their way to Iraq’s capital city. It is often not a pretty picture, nor one for the faint of heart, because Zucchino unhesitatingly and graphically describes the violent and grisly fates that befell hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqi Republican Guard troops and fedayeen militiamen, their Syrian allies (at the border) and the unfortunate civilians who were killed or wounded by the deadly high-tech American armored vehicles and their well-trained crews. He also does not shy away from intimately describing the deaths and injuries of American troops. The Americans who fought their way into Baghdad engaged in, according to Zucchino’s account, a vicious, if short-lived, war. While the Americans overwhelmed the Iraqis on the road to Baghdad, U.S. troops faced periodic stiff resistance; rocket-propelled grenades caused death and destruction among the crews in the Bradley fighting vehicles. Zucchino tells his story primarily from the American troops’ point of view, but does include a section describing the experiences of a Baath Party militia leader and some Republican Guard officers in this high-quality example of in-depth and evocative war reporting.