BREAKING: Emile Hirsch is in talks to play Navy SEAL Danny Dietz in Lone Survivor, the Peter Berg-directed drama that is being financed by Emmett/Furla Films for a September 25 start in New Mexico. Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster are already poised to play the other main roles in the drama centered around four Navy SEALs. Universal Pictures, which developed the movie, will distribute.
An adaptation of the book by Marcus Luttrell (Wahlberg), Lone Survivor tells the harrowing story of how Luttrell and his Navy SEAL team members fought to stay alive after being ambushed in Afghanistan in 2005 by Taliban forces during a covert mission in the Hindu Kush mountain region, where the team went to kill a terrorist leader. Film 44 partner Sarah Aubrey, Akiva Goldsman, Barry Spikings are producing with Emmett/Furla’s Randall Emmett and George Furla, and Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson.
Berg, who covered the Middle East terrain previously with the taut drama The Kingdom, has put in the work on this one. He wrote the Lone Survivor script after embedding with a SEAL team for a month in Iraq, an experience that really gave him a chance to see how they do their job. When I first wrote that the picture was a go as Emmett/Furla stepped up, Berg told me that “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,” Berg told me last May. “The mission was similar to the assassination mission that got bin Laden, but things got complicated when they ran into three kids and an old man. Under the rules of engagement, they could have killed them, but they decided to let them go and take their chances, even though they knew these people would likely talk.” Shortly after, the mission had to be aborted when the SEALs found themselves under fire from about 250 Al-Qaeda soldiers. When the dust cleared — and after a rescue helicopter was blown up by a rocket-propelled grenade, 15 SEAL members were killed, and the lone survivor was Luttrell. “A massive land assault was carried out, but by then Marcus was brought to shelter by an Afghan tribe that fought off the Taliban until Luttrell could be rescued,” Berg said. The team’s leader, Mike Murphy, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.This puts Emmett/Furla Films principals into yet another major feature.
It’s the second film Emmett/Furla is doing with Universal, as they are in the middle of 2 Guns with Denzel Washington and Wahlberg.
Hirsch, who’s repped by WME and The Collective, was just seen in Savages and has the David Gordon Green-directed Prince Avalanche with Paul Rudd and Venuto al Mondo with Penelope Cruz.