This Vietnam Book Classic Is Finally Getting a Movie and the Cast Looks Amazing
Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" is one of the very best books ever written about war. The collection of linked short stories about the Vietnam War was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, won a National Book Award upon publication in 1990 and its reputation has only grown over the past 30 years.
"The Things They Carried" is also now a stand text in middle and high school literature classes and more than a few college history courses. And it's finally being turned into a movie with filming set to begin in Thailand in early 2021.
The film has an incredibly deep roster of impressive young talent, headlined by Oscar nominee Tom Hardy ("Mad Max: Fury Road," "Inception," "Dunkirk") whose production company is behind the film. He'll be joined by Tye Sheridan ("Ready Player One"), Stephan James ("21 Bridges," John Lewis in "Selma"), Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise in the "It" movies, "Atomic Blonde"), Ashton Sanders ("The Equalizer 2," "If Beale Street Could Talk"), Martin Sensmeier (HBO's "Westworld," "Yellowstone"), Moises Arias ("Ender's Game," "The King of Staten Island") and Angus Cloud (HBO's "Euphoria").
That's an impressive line-up of up-and-coming talent, and not the kind of cast this kind of independent movie can afford to pay. There are some great parts in these stories, though, and most of these guys are young enough that they might have read the book in school.
Oh, and let's not forget the King of Staten Island himself, Pete Davidson. Looks like Pete will be asking for more time off from "Saturday Night Live" to film a part in this movie. Pete pretty much embodies a certain kind of screw-up that has existed in almost every unit back to the beginning of warfare, so this seems like a good move for everyone.
The screenplay was written by Scott B. Smith, Oscar-nominated for the 1998 heist classic "A Simple Plan" and most recently credited with the underrated noir "The Burnt Orange Heresy." Rupert Sanders ("Snow White & the Huntsman," Apple TV+'s upcoming mega-series adaptation of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" novels) will direct.
Sanders said in a press release,"'The Things They Carried' is a beautifully crafted work and one of the most viscerally evocative books I have ever read. For me, it transcends its subject of young men at war and explores the landscape of deep human emotions that reside within all of us. We live in such turbulent times, and the themes of love, fear, and mortality that Tim explored thirty years ago still resonate today, maybe even more powerfully. I am so excited about the cast we have put together -- we have not seen this many young stars from different backgrounds sharing the screen since the days of 'Platoon' or 'The Outsiders.'"
The stories in O'Brien's book follow the young men of Alpha Company before, during and after their tour of duty in Vietnam. Somehow, a middle-aged veteran was still in touch with the perspective and emotions that young men confront as they go to war and millions of readers credit the author with bringing that experience to life.
All the ingredients for a great war movie are present in these stories. The producers have attracted a very strong group of actors to a low-budget project, so let's take that as a sign that people who've read the screenplay think it's a winner.
Fingers crossed for 2022 in hopes that a classic book gets the movie it deserves.
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