Of the many, many projects "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" director David Lowery has been linked to in the past year or so — "The Old Man And The Gun," with Robert Redford slated to star and produce; writing and directing former David Fincher project "Torso"; producing Alex Ross Perry's upcoming "Listen Up Philip"; writing and directing the sci-fi "Two" with Casey Affleck set to star; writing and directing Disney's "Pete's Dragon" — one you may have forgotten about is "The Yellow Birds." Lowery got attached to the gig last fall during TIFF, and not much has been heard since, but now it has some fresh movement.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan, and Will Poulter are now attached to star in the movie, which is still putting together financing. Based on the National Book Award Finalist novel by Kevin Powers, the story follows two soldiers, a man and teenager, who head to fight in the Iraq war. Here's the Amazon synopsis:
A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive.
"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.
In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.
With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.
No word yet on when production might begin or where this will fit in Lowery's slate, but this roundup of talent will likely help getting the pieces in place to make this happen sooner rather than later. [Screen Daily]