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Doug Liman To Helm Documentary 'Reckoning With Torture: Memos And Testimonies From The War On Terror'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
February 16, 2012 11:40 AM
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Doug Liman Reckoning With Torture

Doug Liman's last effort behind the camera was the Valerie Plame drama "Fair Game," which didn't quite become the box office hot button smash or Oscar contender it seemed like it would be on paper. And while the director is currently lining up his next feature film (more on that in a second), he's going to get back to politically charged material by taking on a provocative documentary.

The New York Times reports that Liman is teaming with the ACLU and PEN American Center for "Reckoning With Torture: Memos And Testimonies From The War On Terror." The unique project will use real documents on prisoner abuse and torture that have been gathered (sometimes throught the Freedom Of Information Act) to put together the script, and Liman needs your help. The plan is crowdsource recordings of ordinary citizens reading the contents of the documents themselves, which will only serve to underline just how eye-opening (and horrific) they are. Several celebrities -- Lili Taylor, Dianne Weist, Robert Redford -- have already participated in readings, and Liman plans to cut together all the footage into a single film. You can find out more at the official website for the project, and watch Liman's call for participation below.

As for what's next for Liman? Collider caught up with the director last month, and he's still aiming to make "All You Need Is Kill" with Tom Cruise his next venture. "I’m hoping it’s going to be a film called 'All You Need is Kill,' for Warner Bros. with Tom Cruise. It’s just figuring out everyone’s schedules, and if we can, in fact, do it next," he explained. But if doesn't work out, he's got "Everest" brewing in the background.

First announced last fall, the film is based on the book "Paths Of Glory" by Jeffrey Archer, has a script from "Up In The Air" scribe Sheldon Turner, and tells the true tale of George Mallory, the first man to climb Mount Everest. Mallory famously took three tries before reaching the summit but his determination was an inspiration to a scarred Britain just coming out of World War I. While there is some debate as to whether or not he reached the true peak of the mountain, he is largely credited for having accomplished the task. And of course, Mallory is also known for answering the question of why he wanted to do it by simply stating, "Because it's there."

Liman is in research mode, and told Collider last month he's planning doing some climbing himself -- albeit on a smaller scale: "I’m climbing Mt. Washington in three weeks, as part of my research for the film. I’ve climbed it before, but now I’m climbing it to pay attention to other details. In that case, specifically how do you film climbing, in a really exciting and visceral way? If you look at 'Mission: Impossible 4,' it’s very hard to do vertigo, and they really did a brilliant job on that movie, when he’s on the side of that building. I’ve done sides of buildings, in 'The Bourne Identity' and in 'Covert Affairs,' and I’ve never elicited the emotional response that Brad [Bird] and Tom [Cruise] got in 'M:I4.' So, I’m starting to think about, for me, how am I going to film sequences on a mountain climb that will be as visceral and exciting as the climb itself is?"

He says this will follow "All You Need Is Kill," but if that project is stalled for whatever reason, we presume this will jump to the top of the queue.

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