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Butler, Worthington & McConaughey Set for CG 3-D Thunder Run: True Story from Baghdad Front Lines

by Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
October 27, 2011 6:21 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

As Marc Forster's biopic Machine Gun Preacher stumbles at the box office and Ralph Fiennes' upcoming Shakespeare drama Coriolanus is more likely to play for the Academy crowd than general audiences, Gerard Butler is heading back toward action fare. He's set to star with Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey in Iraq war movie Thunder Run, a CG 3-D action-thriller from macho director Simon West (Con Air, Tomb Raider, The Mechanic).

Thunder Run is based on correspondent Davd Zucchino's novel Thunder Run - The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad, which chronicles the true story of soldiers on the front line of this 2003 battle. Black Hawk Down scripters Robert Port and Ken Nolan are adapting the novel. More details below:

Freedom Films are producing alongside the Graphic Film Company. Hyde Park will handle international sales. Freedom Films' Brian Presley says the film, which has been in development for five years, will be the "first ever conventional war film made to utilize this revolutionary facial and motion capture technology and state of the art CG and 3D."

Thunder Run is the untold story of the dangerous and bloody capture of Baghdad by American Forces at the onset of the Iraq War. In April 2003, three battalions and fewer than a thousand men launched a violent thrust of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into the heart of a city of five million, igniting a three-day blitzkrieg, which military professionals often refer to as a lightning strike, or “thunder run.” In telling the story of the surprise assault on Baghdad- one of the most decisive battles in recent American combat history--this movie paints the harrowing picture of the soldiers on the front lines and the realities of modern warfare.


  • Anne Thompson | October 28, 2011 11:23 AMReply

    The risk of taking a movie like this out limited is that if it doesn't perform--and gets mixed reviews, as this did--then you're sunk. This forces folks to see the movie in other venues like VOD and DVD, which is where distributors are going anyway, these days. They're offering movies like Melancholia, London Boulevard and Margin Call on VOD before or at the same time as they hit theaters, so folks in other markets can see them when the ads are whetting appetites.

  • gillianfey | October 28, 2011 9:47 AMReply

    Agreeing with prior comments, MGP was a limited release film and that isn't mentioned in this article. My friends and I were looking forward to seeing it in the theater, but it never came close enough long enough for us to get there. Surely it will come out on DVD and I'll be first in line, but would have preferred seeing it on the big screen.

  • Sheryl Glenn | October 28, 2011 5:38 AMReply

    MGP, as you say, stumbles, but ask yourself why? The PTB have been holding back releasing it Nation Wide. It's on a limited release, so, yes, it's stumbling. Ask yourself - What are people afraid of by letting MGP go into a large release? Who is holding it back? That's what people should be asking. In the mid-west, where I live, you can only see it in KC, Dallas, NYC, or other distant hard to reach cities for the mass public who live in most states. It's not in any of our local theaters. So don't say stumbles until you know the whole picture, of Machine Gun Preacher, being that it's a "LIMITED RELEASE" movie.

  • Amy Vega | October 28, 2011 4:42 AMReply

    You know what upsets me most about reporters? When they write sentences like the first one in this article about Machine Gun Preacher stumbles at the box office. Did you even understand that it was limited release in very few theaters and I couldn't have even seen it even though I wanted to go see it because I would have had to drive about 2 hours out of my way to do so. If it had been released like any other movie it would have done just as well. No, it would not have been a blockbuster but it would have done well.

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