Director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), is hoping for a hit. Battleship, his last feature based on the Hasbro naval combat game (with Rihanna making her film debut), was a box office disaster. Berg is counting on the true story of heroism, the action war story Lone Survivor, to be his redemption.
Universal Studios, after viewing Lone Survivor in an unfinished form, is throwing it’s support behind the film. According to Deadline, the movie packs the kind of emotional punch that should play well with award voters, and Universal will correspondingly shift Lone Survivor to a limited (NY/LA) early 12/27 opening before expanding to its previously targeted wide release in early 2014. It’s the same trick Zero Dark Thirty pulled to get in under the award season wire last year.
Mark Wahlberg plays Marcus Luttrell, the author of the bestselling true story The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. Peter Berg has written the screenplay about the failed June 28, 2005 SEAL mission, Operation Redwing. The SEAL team was on a reconnaissance mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd. Shahd was rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold.
Things got complicated when they came across 3 small children and an old man. Under rules of engagement they could have killed them, but the team decided to take their chances and let them go free. Consequently, the Taliban was informed of their whereabouts, and a massive land assault was launched against them. After five days, only Marcus Luttrell was alive and able to be rescued.
Peter Berg comments on the film via Military Movies & News.
The idea of a good old-fashioned combat yarn, in which the politics are very clear – we support these men – was very appealing. Unlike many portraits of soldiers in war presented in recent years, Lone Survivor is about the core warrior spirit. It’s unabashed tribute to the courage of these men.
The cast also includes, Eric Bana (Black Hawk Down, Troy) as Lt. Commander Erik S. Kristensen, Taylor Kitcsh (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, John Carter) as Michael Murphy, Emile Hirsch (Into The Wild) as Danny Dietz.
Lone Survivor has a wide release date of January 10, 2014.