By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 18, 2011 at 1:10AM
There's nothing like blasting a few bullets into the head of the world's most wanted man to make your profession all the rage. And that's what Navy SEAL Team 6 did by storming the compound of Osama Bin Laden a few weeks back. Since then, they've been everywhere, and of course, Hollywood has been all over them: Kathryn Bigelow's already-in-development "Kill Bin Laden," for which writer Mark Boal had spent some time tracking the group, suddenly became the hottest project in town, while Disney waited a whole 48 hours before trying to trademark the term 'SEAL Team 6.'
And now another project has gotten a shot in the ass. Deadline reports that "Lone Survivor" an adaptation of the non-fiction book by author Marcus Luttrell that served as the second part of a two-picture deal between Universal and Peter Berg, director of their 2012 tentpole "Battleship," is moving forward at the studio. The book tells the story of former SEAL Luttrell and three squad mates who were sent into the Kush mountain region of Afghanistan to assassinate a Taliban leader in 2005, only to be ambushed, and forced to fight for their lives.
Berg spent time embedded with a SEAL team in Iraq to research the film, and wanted to make the project back in 2009, but Universal wasn't keen, leading to a "one for us, one for you" deal on "Battleship." But as soon as Bin Laden's body hit the floor, the studio suddenly became more interested, as Berg told Deadline: "They leaned right into it with me. Bin Laden's death has cleared the way for this, a movie that will be an unapologetically patriotic film that honors and pays homage to an incredible group of badass guys who do this. The film will be a bit like 'Black Hawk Down,' but it will focus on the quartet, which is fewer guys than that film."
He's already cast one of the quartet of soldiers as well, with his "Battleship" lead, "Friday Night Lights" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" star Taylor Kitsch, signing on to the film with the other three leads expected to follow shortly. It's a smart move: by the time "Lone Survivor" hits, Kitsch will have headlined not just "Battleship," but also Disney's mega-budgeted "John Carter of Mars" and Oliver Stone's all-star crime-drama "Savages." Production is expected to get underway in January, so we could conceivably see this in theaters by the end of 2012, although we imagine 2013 is more likely.
Meanwhile, any bets on how soon the below video becomes a reality?