Dan Futterman (Capote) will take on another true life story, as – according to Deadline – he looks to bring to life the story Eric Harroun, an American soldier fighting with Syrian rebels who died labeled as a radical and a felon.
As a writer, Futterman is known for films based upon true stories of rather unusual men. In Capote (2005), the story followed writer Truman Capote as he developed a relationship with murderer Perry Smith, who had received the death penalty for a crime that would ultimately inspire Capote’s book In Cold Blood. Futterman’s more recent film, which he co-wrote with E. Max Frye, was Foxcatcher, the story of Olympic wrestling champion brothers Mark and David Shultz and their unstable benefactor John du Pont. Both of those films followed unique and interesting characters and Futterman’s latest project seems to be continuing in this vein.
The story of Eric Harroun first came out in a Vice News article entitled “The All-American Life and Death of Eric Harroun” in 2014. It told the story of an American soldier who never seemed to find his place in the world. Eric Harroun was diagnosed with ADD and bi-polar disorder, and after he was in a major car accident he had to get a metal plate inserted in his head, which increased the symptoms of his mental disorders. Soon he became interested in the Middle East and with his disability paychecks he was able to save up money to travel. During his travels he visited a refugee camp, where he became appalled by the situation in front of him and decided to get involved. Soon he became a soldier fighting alongside Syrian rebels, but his actions did not go unnoticed by the U.S. government. As soon he was out of Syria, he was told that he needed to return to the U.S. to face criminal charges. It was then discovered that Harroun was not a radical jihadist but rather fighting with a rebel force that the U.S. had backed. Despite this information, Harroun was put in prison and solitary confinement for a time. Once he was released he was eager to do what he could to get his civil rights back and did all he could to cooperate. Then he suddenly died of a drug overdose, the circumstances of which were suspicious.
While audiences have seen war stories in the Middle East in recent years, it’s safe to say that this film will be from an entirely new perspective.