Green Book director

Viggo Mortensen, one of the stars of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and also the controversial Best Picture winner Green Book, seems to have found his next movie project. Mortensen will reunite with Green Book co-writer/director Peter Farrelly for an untitled film about a man who, in 1967, travels to Vietnam to meet up with his pals during the war and drink some beer. And the movie is based on a true story.

According to Variety, Mortensen won’t be the main character in the film, but will instead have a supporting role. The movie is based on the forthcoming book “The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War,” which was written by Joanna Molloy and John “Chick” Donohue. The film traces Donohue’s steps as he heads from New York City to the jungles of Vietnam to deliver beer to his soldier friends. Here’s the book’s description from Amazon:

One night in 1967, twenty-six-year-old John Donohue—known as Chick—was out with friends, drinking in a New York City bar. The friends gathered there had lost loved ones in Vietnam. Now, they watched as anti-war protesters turned on the troops themselves.

One neighborhood patriot came up with an inspired—some would call it insane—idea. Someone should sneak into Vietnam, track down their buddies there, give them messages of support from back home, and share a few laughs over a can of beer.

It would be the Greatest Beer Run Ever.

But who’d be crazy enough to do it?

One man was up for the challenge—a U. S. Marine Corps veteran turned merchant mariner who wasn’t about to desert his buddies on the front lines when they needed him.

Chick volunteered.

A day later, he was on a cargo ship headed to Vietnam, armed with Irish luck and a backpack full of alcohol. Landing in Qui Nho’n, Chick set off on an adventure that would change his life forever—an odyssey that took him through a series of hilarious escapades and harrowing close calls, including the Tet Offensive. But none of that mattered if he could bring some cheer to his pals and show them how much the folks back home appreciated them.

This is the story of that epic beer run, told in Chick’s own words and those of the men he visited in Vietnam.

Despite being one of the most embarrassing Best Picture wins of this century, Green Book performed very well at the box office and racked up a ton of other awards. So it’s only natural that Mortensen and Farrelly would want to team up again for another movie. But I can’t help but shake my head at the timing of this announcement, arriving in the middle of ongoing nationwide protests against racism. Putting Green Book back in the news right now like this, even indirectly, is not ideal, and the way this synopsis paints Vietnam protestors (who were proven correct by history, by the way) is…uh…not great, either. While it’s not a guarantee that Farrelly is going to include that aspect of the story in this adaptation, he also hasn’t proven to have a deft hand when it comes to handling important societal and cultural issues on film.

Maybe Brian Currie and Pete Jones, who are co-writing the script with Farrelly, will be able to bring some more nuance to it. David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, and Andrew Muscato will produce for Skydance, and there’s no timetable yet for when production might get underway.

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