EXCLUSIVE: John Savage, whose career was launched nearly four decades ago with the Best Picture Oscar-winning Vietnam picture The Deer Hunter, has joined the cast of Todd Robinson’s Vietnam-themed The Last Full Measure for Foresight Unlimited. It seems that Hollywood has really turned its attention to projects about Vietnam lately … Steven Spielberg and Marc Platt are huddling on a Walter Cronkite Vietnam project and Lionsgate is doing a scripted series heading to the Discovery Channel while documentarian Ken Burns did the Vietnam docu-series for PBS.
Why the sudden interest in Vietnam-themed stories? Savage told Deadline that the entertainment industry’s “sudden interest into a number of Vietnam-themed films is likely (due to) the current widespread feeling that we should not be militarily involved in foreign ‘conflicts’ — for example, that in Syria — given how unpopular our involvement was in Vietnam five decades ago.” Good insight. Whatever the reason, the projects keep coming.
Savage leaves this weekend for location shooting in Costa Rica to portray Chauncey Kepper in a cast that also includes Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Fonda, Amy Madigan, Christopher Plummer, Bradley Whitford, Michael Imperioli, Linus Roache, Grant Gustin and Alison Sudol.
Based on the true story of a present-day cover-up investigation, The Last Full Measure follows young Pentagon investigator Scott Huffman (Stan) as he unravels the injustice and battles the political machine in Washington. As we are brought back to what happened in one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War through the eyes of the survivors, Huffman teams with the veterans of Operation Abilene to persuade Congress finally to award the Medal of Honor to a courageous Air Force Pararescue Jumper, Pitsenbarger (Gustin), who aided in the rescue of Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. As the battle waged on, and after the last helicopter left, he continued to save lives until his own was sacrificed. Pitsenbarger single-handedly saved more than 60 men.
Timothy Scott Bogart, Mark Damon, Nicholas Cafritz, Robert Reed Peterson, Shaun Sanghani Julian Adams, Lauren Selig, Pen Densham and John Watson are producing, with Tamara Birkemoe, Jenna Sanz-Agero, Sidney Sherman, Louis Steyn and T.J. Steyn executive producing. Foresight Unlimited is handling international sales and producing in association with Provocator and SSS Entertainment.
Savage has a choice cameo in David Lynch’s new Twin Peaks, which premieres May 21 on Showtime. He is repped by Pure Arts Management and Sovereign Talent Group.