Modern war films have rarely done well at the box office in the past decade that we’ve been at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The audience that might come out to see films set during these wars either hasn’t been interested in the stories being told, or would rather get their war fix from Call of Duty. So it isn’t that surprising that we haven’t seen much in the way of ambitious CGI mocap war films.

Producers at a new company called Freedom Films (yep) are working to change that with an adaptation of David Zucchino‘s book Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. As part of a gambit to get investors and distributors interested in the project, they’ve enlisted Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey to act in and voice the leads.

A press release announces that Thunder Run will be directed by Simon West, who is currently making The Expendables 2. Thunder Run is intended to be “an all CG 3-D action thriller” based on the book. Robert Port and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) are scripting. (Simon West is also producing a mocap 3D Night of the Living Dead prequel, Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3-D, and the same company doing that digital work will be used on Thunder Run.)

This is being sold at the American Film Market, and this is a project that I wouldn’t be surprised to see disappear into the aether in the months to come. But we’ll keep an eye on the fortunes of the project. Maybe it will have some luck.

Here’s the description of the book, from Amazon:

Based on reporting that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Thunder Run chronicles one of the boldest gambles in modern military history. 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 5 million people and in three days of bloody combat ended the Iraqi war. Thunder Run is the story of the surprise assault on Baghdad—one of the most decisive battles in American combat history—by the Spartan Brigade, the Second Brigade of the Third Infantry Division (Mechanized). More than just a rendering of a single battle, Thunder Run candidly recounts how soldiers respond under fire and stress and how human frailties are magnified in a war zone. The product of over a hundred interviews with commanders and men from the Second Brigade, Thunder Run is a riveting firsthand account of how a single armored brigade was able to capture an Arab capital defended by one of the world’s largest armies.

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